Drop, cover and hold

Oceanside residents encouraged to participate on Thursday in worldwide event

RDN transit driver Kim McCarley (left) and superintendent of transit operations Curtis Hansen prepare for the Great British Columbia Shakeout Drill on October 18.

RDN transit driver Kim McCarley (left) and superintendent of transit operations Curtis Hansen prepare for the Great British Columbia Shakeout Drill on October 18.

More than 17 million people are expected to take part in the annual ShakeOut on Oct. 18 in dozens of provinces, states and countries.

Everyone is encouraged to take part in a drill whether at work or a government building, or organize their own smaller office and family drills to practice safety in a large earthquake.

Participants will drop, cover and hold on for two minutes for the simulated earthquake event at 10:18 a.m. Thursday, but Parksville emergency preparation coordinator Aaron Dawson says it’s not as important when people do the drill as long as they do it.

He said organizers considered adding an additional element to practice this year, but they decided to keep focusing on the basics until they become natural in a moment of panic.

People are reminded there are a few thousand earthquakes a year in seismically active B.C. and the threat of a major one is real.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to register at shakeoutbc.ca for valuable information and to be counted in the worldwide event. At 10:18 everyone will drop to the ground, take cover under the nearest table or desk, and hold on for at least 60 seconds.

While under the table, people should imagine what would happen in a major earthquake. What would fall on you or others? What would be damaged? What would life be like after?

Then people should discuss what they learned and how to make improvements.

Dawson points out that you may need to remain in place for up to a week, so the annual drill is a good time to make sure you have the necessary supplies, including supply kits not just at home but also at work and in your car.

The drill will be conducted at virtually all government run facilities in Oceanside including landfills, transit, recreational facilities and other government buildings.

 

Transit drivers will pull over to the side of the road and outdoor staff will consider the hazards they could face.