On October 20 at 10:20 a.m., more than 770,000 British Columbians will practice how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” during Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills.
The drill is the largest of its kind in Canada; an annual event aimed at raising awareness for earthquake preparedness, including ensuring families have adequate first aid supplies and bottled water.
Residents and businesses can register online prior to the event, but that is not a requirement for anyone to practice their drop, cover and hold on skills.
Victoria has a one in three (32%) probability of a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years. It’s not a matter of “if” an earthquake will happen, but when.
“Drop! Cover! and Hold On!“ is the most appropriate action to reduce injury and death during an earthquake. We need to get better prepared before the next big earthquake and practise how to protect ourselves when it happens.
Drop, Cover and Hold On! means:
DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.
COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand
- If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter
- If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)
- Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs
HOLD ON until shaking stops
- Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
- No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.
To learn more about the supplies you and your family, pets, business or organization needs to have on hand to be able to cope for a minimum of three days in the event of an earthquake, check out Victoria’s Recipe for Disaster series.