While it didn’t do any real damage, the 2.2 magnitude earthquake that just hit Archdale and was felt in Guilford County acted as a wake-up call.
One way it was a wakeup call is that, it woke people up from their sleep at 12:32 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26 when it hit. Another way it acted as a wakeup call is that, the following morning, it had area residents asking how much of a threat a bigger earthquake is for this area.
While the late-night earthquake was a minor one, the earthquake that shook area buildings in August 2011 showed that it’s possible for a significantly sized quake to affect Guilford County. If it does, Guilford County Emergency Services is prepared for it.
Guilford County Emergency Management Division Director Don Campbell said on Tuesday that no damage has been reported from the March 26 quake but he added that it did light up 911 lines.
“Other than lots of phone calls to the 911 centers,” Campbell said, “We have not received any reports of damages or other impacts.
Some callers to 911 thought a bomb had gone off or that there had been a truck accident.
Guilford County Emergency Management Coordinator Taylor Jones said that Emergency Services ranks threats in terms of their likelihood, and he added that, while an earthquake isn’t a major threat to Guilford County, it’s certainly something that the department plans for. He said some things that do rank high on the threat list are storms and tornados and he added that one thing area residents don’t have to worry about at all is volcanoes because – well, there are no volcanoes anywhere around.
“At the top of the list are severe weather and winter weather,” Jones said. “Earthquakes fall fairly low on the scale.”
He said Guilford County Emergency Services prepares for every type of conceivable threat and he added that there’s a lot of commonality in the way those threats should be handled. For instance, with any type of calamity, there’s a need to make sure communication for emergency responders are up and running and a need to be prepared to set up shelters.
He said the closest major fault line to this area is the New Madrid Fault Line that runs from New Madrid, Missouri southwest so North Carolina is probably not going to fall into the Atlantic anytime soon.
According to Jones, if a big earthquake does hit here, the proper response is pretty much the same as it is for a tornado: Stay away from windows and find a sturdy desk or similar item to get under for protection from falling debris.