The Town of Seabrook Island, and the entire Lowcountry of South Carolina, is vulnerable to the effects of a major earthquake. The Middleton Place Summerville Seismic Zone is one of the most seismically active areas in the Eastern United States. Current science and technology does not allow for accurate predictions or warnings of major earthquakes. Therefore it is expected that there will be no warning for such an event, complicating response efforts. Charleston County’s Emergency Preparedness Division will lead the regional response and coordinate the regional response and recovery effort with State and Federal officials. State and County response plans indicate that they likely will not be able to provide assistance to local municipalities for at least 96 hours following a major regional disaster occurring without advanced warning. All residents and organizations within the Town are encouraged to individually prepare for self-sustainability for the first 96 hours following a significant earthquake.

The Town of Seabrook Island plans to coordinate response activities of all available resources. Recovery operations will begin when outside assistance becomes available, at least in limited capacity. In general, the transition from response to recovery activities will be roughly 3 – 5 days after the initial event. The Town will determine who will conduct the recovery operations; either the County and their selected contractors or contractors selected by the Town, and will prioritize recovery operations to be performed. Full recovery may take from several weeks to months or even years depending on the severity of the earthquake. Information for residents regarding emergency response and recovery will be communicated through public information statements issued via one or more of: Code Red warning system, local media, the Town website the Town “800” number (888-314-3177) and e-mail based on the Property Owners Association e-mail list. The Town’s Twitter account (@SeabrookIslnd87) will be used for notices of information updates available at the website or “800” number.

Individual Preparedness

  • Prepare by: identifying places to shelter inside the residence; assembling home disaster supplies; identifying gas, electricity and water shut-offs and learning how to use them.

Preparation links

Planning App:;

  • When an earthquake strikes, move to the nearest indoor shelter with overhead cover, e.g., under sturdy furniture.