On January 26 at 10:00 a.m., Bob McLeod, co-ordinator of the Kitimat Emergency Program would like you to “drop, cover and hold on” as part of The Great British Columbia ShakeOut.
Shakeout BC is an earthquake preparedness drill modelled on a California-based earthquake preparedness program.
“The whole idea is to get people thinking about the ‘drop, cover and hold’,” McLeod said.
McLeod is proud of the level of participation across the Northwest, with over 7,000 people signed up, in a region of less than 100,000 people, but ⅓ the geographic area of the province.
The drill is designed to teach individuals and organization how to prepare for and deal with an earthquake.
“In North America, most of the injuries that happen in an earthquake are by falling objects as opposed to building collapse,” McLeod says.
In the event of an earthquake, people are recommended to climb under a sturdy table, hold on and remain there for a count of 60 after the shaking has stopped.
Standing in a doorway, or running outside are not recommended.
People should be aware of unsecured objects which may fall during an earthquake including wall hangings and even entire shelving units.
Businesses and organizations can participate in The Great British Columbia ShakeOut by creating earthquake preparedness plans as part of their overall emergency planning.
McLeod also recommends an emergency survival kit with supplies for you, your family and any pets including medications to carry all of you through a minimum of 72 hours and as much as a week.
Further earthquake planning includes having a contact person outside the region for all family members to check in with if an earthquake happens when families are separated at work, school, etc.
Though rare, earthquakes do occur in the Northwest.