Emergency response coordinator encourages all households to have an emergency kit — and a plan — in place in the event of a large earthquake.

Get ready for the Great ShakeOut in Parksville on Oct. 15

This is also a time for people to organize and refresh emergency supply kits

Local residents are preparing for the annual Great B.C. ShakeOut along with almost a million other people.

At 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, October 15 local schools, municipal governments, businesses and individuals will take part in one of the world’s largest emergency drills, which more than 24 million people took part in across North America last year.

The drill is meant to raise awareness of the importance of earthquake and emergency preparedness and let people practise how to be safe in a disaster.

People are encouraged to register at www.shakeoutbc.ca to be counted and get resources and information.

On Oct. 15, participants will Drop, Cover and Hold On for two minutes in response to a simulated earthquake and then many organizations will review any issues or questions that come up.

“B.C. is located in a seismically active region where a few thousand earthquakes occur each year,” said a release from the City of Parksville. “The threat of a major earthquake in the province is real; therefore, we should all know how to be prepared.”

The B.C. ShakeOut website has a wealth of information about how to participate and most importantly, how to perform the Drop, Cover and Hold On, a quake-safe action designed to protect people from objects that can become projectiles during ground shaking.

Organizers suggest that people or groups that have taken part in previous years consider steps after Drop, Cover and Hold On.

The City of Parksville, like many governments, has a comprehensive emergency preparedness guidebook available that they encourage people to work through.

This is a time for people to organize and refresh emergency supply kits, suggested Parksville Emergency Program Coordinator Aaron Dawson.

“After an earthquake you may need to remain in place for at least 72 hours or up to a week, so ensure you have the necessary supplies.”

For more information visit www.getprepared.gc.ca/index-eng.aspx or www.shakeoutbc.ca.

— NEWS Staff/City of Parksville

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