Monday October 17, 2022 | VICTORIA, BC [Update Oct 20, 2022: If you couldn’t get onto the ShakeOutBC website this morning — due to server overload — please note that you can still register for the drill after 10:20 am today, and even for a few more days to follow, says Juan de Fuca Emergency Program Coordinator Jeri Grant.]
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends
BC is the most seismically active area of Canada, particularly on Vancouver Island.
While potential earthquake hazards depend on your location, the folks at Great BC Shakeout say that everywhere in British Columbia is considered at high risk in relation to the rest of Canada.
But here were are on the island, where most people are aware of being in a highly active earthquake zone.
Drop, Cover and Hold On:
At 10:20 am on Thursday October 20 there will be the annual ShakeOut BC earthquake drill.
On that same day, millions of people worldwide will practise how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” during Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills.
The ShakeOut has also been organized to encourage you, your community, your school, or your organization to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to prevent damage and injuries.
It’s important to do a Drop, Cover, and Hold On drill as a way to build muscle-memory, so you can react quickly when necessary.
You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake, before strong shaking knocks you down—or drops something on you. Practicing helps you be ready to respond.
Indoors when it happens:
If you’re indoors when an earthquake begins, move no more than a few steps, then Drop, Cover and Hold On.
- DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)
- Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table.
- HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
If there isn’t a table or desk near you, drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table.
Stay indoors until the shaking stops:
Depending on where you are (in bed, driving, in a theater, etc.), you might take other actions, as described in Recommended Earthquake Safety Actions.
Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings in British Columbia you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.
Outdoors when it happens:
When the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold On.
Stay there until the shaking stops.
Driving in your car when it happens:
Pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is a news portal with a socioeconomic lens for attentive readers on south Vancouver Island and beyond.
Online since mid-2020, this publication is the emergence from 15 years of journalism on the west shore: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).
Island Social Trends editor is Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR.