On October 18 at 10:18am, millions of people worldwide will practice how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” during Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills. British Columbians can join by registering for the 2018 Great British Columbia ShakeOut.
Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes – wherever you live, work or travel.
The annual Great British Columbia ShakeOut is coming up soon! Now is the time to make sure your workplace (and home) are prepared. Do you, your coworkers and loved ones know what to do if an earthquake hits?
This is a fantastic opportunity to review your earthquake procedures, educate your family and colleagues on earthquake preparedness, and actually practice what to do if an earthquake hits. Not sure where to start? Read on.
Drop, Cover and Hold On
In a nutshell, you want to:
Why do we Drop, Cover and Hold On? Rescue teams around the world continuously tell us to drop, cover and hold on because it’s the safest thing you can do. You want to drop to the ground (before the earthquake drops you) to prevent any injuries that might occur in the fall, take cover under a sturdy desk or table (so you are protected in case anything falls on you), and HOLD ON until the shaking stops.
Basically, you want to stop moving and protect yourself as best you can. Don’t run to another room just to get under a table. Don’t try and run outside just to avoid falling objects. Earthquakes occur so suddenly and without warning that they could knock you to the ground immediately and make it impossible to run or even crawl. You are also much more likely to by injured or killed by falling or flying objects than by a collapsing building, so secure your home and workplace as soon as possible.
Do NOT get in a doorway! Despite the myth, in modern houses and buildings, doorways are no safer than the rest of the house, and leave you exposed to falling and flying objects. Stay out of doorways. Instead, find a nearby table or desk.
Do NOT run outside! Instead, stay where you are. Get under a table to protect yourself from falling and flying objects.
Watch this video for more information about Drop, Cover and Hold On.
Preparing Your Home
Take these steps in order to prepare yourself and your family for disaster. Phone, gas and electrical services may be disrupted, roads could be blocked, stores closed and gas stations out of service.
- Identify the risks for your region (hint: if you’re on Vancouver Island, the risks you’re encouraged to prepare for are earthquakes, severe weather, tsunamis and wildfires)
- Make an emergency phone list with at least one out-of-area contact.
- Pick a meeting spot if you’re separated from family members.
- Assign someone to collect your children from school or daycare if you can’t.
- Identify what official sources you’ll get information from.
- Learn how to turn off utilities.
- Store enough emergency water for your family.
- Store enough emergency food for three days to one week.
- Identify any special needs, such as medications, and make sure a proper supply is on hand.
- Secure your space.
- Create grab-and-go bags.