Are you ready Victoria?
The largest earthquake drill in British Columbia is only one day away (so this is kind of your last chance make sure you’ve registered to be a part of it!)
Starting at 10:18 a.m. tomorrow, over 870,000 people, businesses, and communities will be participating for ShakeOut B.C., adding to the safety and preparedness of all British Columbians.
Taking part in the earthquake drill can help give you a sense of what to do during an emergency, and what conditions would be like during a tremor.
Also, don’t forget that ShakeOut BC is giving away 3 free earthquake emergency kits, and there’s still time for you to enter to win!
So without further ado, here are 4 things you should know ahead of the largest earthquake drill in the province:
1. The “Triangle of life” is a myth
If an earthquake strikes, the best thing you can do is drop, cover, and hold on. The “Triangle of life” theory, proposed and popularized by self-proclaimed “emergency response expert” Mr. Doug Copp, is a debunked myth that ShakeOut B.C. does not recommend.
“The Triangle of Life” theory suggests avoiding cover underneath furniture, in case the object you’re hiding under collapses. Instead, Copp suggests looking for cover near a sturdy object and making a sloped roof with a different piece of furniture.
Although he refers to himself as an “emergency response expert”, Copp has received ample criticism for his safety theory, and has been taken to court by U.S. government response agencies for interfering with emergency rescue efforts.
In the event of an earthquake, drop to your hands and knees (which will prevent falling but still allow you to move), cover your head and neck, and hold on. If possible, look for cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table or desk.
2. What to do if you’re not at home
PreparedBC has great explanations on what to do if you’re caught in an earthquake no matter where you are.
Locations covered include your car, outside, in bed, at a store, walking on the beach, and more.
For example, if you’re driving in your car when an earthquake begins, pull over and try to avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, and other hazards that might fall on the vehicle. Stay inside until the earthquake passes, and wait for 60 seconds before exiting in case of aftershocks.
3. Have a plan
Are you prepared? ShakeOutBC has some recommendations on how to be ready yourself for an earthquake.
Objects in your home should also be secured enough that they won’t injure you during an earthquake.
If you get separated from family or friends, have an idea of where you would meet up in case phone services are down.
4. In case of tsunamis
If a major earthquake strikes and you’re near the coast or on the beach, wait for 60 seconds (in case of aftershocks) and then seek higher ground in case a tsunami was triggered.
When evacuating, make sure to walk to higher ground instead of driving in order to avoid obstructions caused by hazards or other vehicles, and to keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles.
After you reach higher ground, do not return to your home until officials have given you the ‘all clear’. Tsunamis are a series of waves, not just one, and can continue for up to twelve hours.
There are two types of earthquake-generated tsunamis: local and distant. Local tsunamis are usually caused by major earthquakes and require you to seek higher ground. Distant tsunamis are generated far away, and officials will likely notify you if you need to evacuate.