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  • Ian Brooking

Coastal hosts PrepareAthon!, engages CCU community

On Sept. 28, Coastal Carolina participated in America’s PrepareAthon!, a nationwide, community-based campaign for action meant to increase emergency preparedness.

This was the fourth year that Coastal Carolina participated and the event featured several local agencies in honor of National Preparedness Month.

Coastal Carolina Emergency Management Director Carissa Medeiros talked about the importance of the event and the takeaways students should have from the event.

“The PreparAThon! is something that FEMA sponsors all over the nation and Coastal is a participant in this,” said Medeiros. “We are essentially having a day of action. We have brought our several first responders and even some state first responders as well to talk about how more students can be prepared on campus.”

Several local agencies such as South Carolina Highway Patrol, Horry County Bomb Squad and even Myrtle Beach’s Fire and Rescue Ocean Response team attended the PrepareAthon! so that students could be more aware and prepared in case any emergency comes our way.

Medeiros talked about what would make the PrepareAthon a success.

“The goal for this event is essentially two things, hazard awareness and emergency preparedness,” said Medeiros. “You really cannot be prepared unless you know what you are vulnerable to here on campus. You have to be aware of those hazards. We have a lot things going on here in the state of South Carolina and to be quite honest, the only thing we do not have to worry about are volcanoes.”

In the past few years, especially in the past few months, the state of South Carolina has felt the sheer force of hurricanes and flooding. And while there has not been a massive earthquake 5.0 or higher since the 1886 Charleston earthquake, there are two fault lines west of the Rocky Mountains that are quite active.

At least year’s event, there were several demonstrations shown to students but due to difficulties, no demonstrations happened this year.

“We had three different demonstrations last year and it was really hard for students to hear and see what was going on,” said Medeiros. “We decided to not have demonstrations done this year.”

With all the hazards that the area is prone to, Medeiros hopes that students will be ready and know what to do when an emergency comes our way.

“If students take the time to educate themselves and know the hazards we are vulnerable to then they can go ahead and take the steps to prepare for those type of emergencies,” said Medeiros.

With a very active hurricane season this year, it is very important that all students and faculty be mindful of the area that they live in and take the necessary steps to be prepared for anything that comes their way.

(Photo: PBS)

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