Residents are encouraged to take part in the ShakeOut drill on Oct. 15. (PQB News file photo)

Parksville Qualicum Beach residents set for annual ShakeOut

Millions worldwide will practise earthquake drills on Oct. 15

Get ready to drop, cover and hold on.

On Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 10:15 a.m., millions of people worldwide will practise their Great ShakeOut earthquake drills.

In B.C., people are adapting to living and working in different ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and while they are doing a great job in adjusting to these new challenges, natural disasters continue to occur. Officials say we need to be prepared, and one of the ways to prepare is to practise how to be safe during an earthquake.

The 2020 ShakeOut drill may look different this year, but there is flexibility in both how and when residents can hold a drill.

Parksville Qualicum Beach residents are encouraged to participate in the ShakeOut, which aims to create an understanding about the importance of earthquake awareness and emergency preparedness. For those wanting to participate, they can register at http://shakeoutbc.ca to obtain resources and information.

With the intention to create public awareness of earthquake hazards and encourage personal preparedness, participants will “drop, cover and hold onfor two minutes, in response to a simulated earthquake.

READ MORE: Magnitude-4.9 earthquake detected off west coast of Vancouver Island

The BC Shakeout website has a wealth of information about how to participate, and most importantly, how to perform the earthquake-safe action designed to protect people from objects that can become projectiles during an earthquake.

To perform the “drop, cover and hold onfirst drop to the ground, then take cover under a table or desk, and hold on as if a major earthquake were happening. It is recommended that you stay down for at least 60 seconds. Practice now so that you will immediately protect yourself during an earthquake.

While under the table, or wherever you are, look around and imagine what would happen in a major earthquake. What could fall, what could be damaged, what could life be like after? Finally, you can practise what you will do after the shaking stops.

The ShakeOut website provides a life safety drill designed to engage people to think through their own emergency response actions during the drill.

Afterwards, review and discuss what worked or what didn’t, in order to improve the next drill, or an actual earthquake. The website has information on participating at your workplace.

When the shaking stops, stay put under cover and count to 60. If nothing has fallen on you, then it’s safe to evacuate.

READ MORE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

How to participate in Shakeout

Plan Your Drill:

  • Register at www.shakeoutbc.cato be counted, get email updates, and more.
  • Have a Drop, Cover, and Hold On drill at 10:15 a.m. on Oct. 15.
  • Discuss what you learned and make improvements.

Get Prepared for Earthquakes:

  • Ensure you have the necessary supplies; you may need to remain in place for at least 72 hours or up to a week after an earthquake.
  • Do a ‘hazard hunt’ for items that might fall during earthquakes and secure them.
  • Create a personal or family disaster plan. http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/index-eng.aspx

Emergency Management Oceanside provides an emergency preparedness guidebook. Obtain a copy by calling one of the contacts below.

For more information, please contact:

Rob Daman Town of Qualicum Beach 250 752-6232 rdaman@qualicumbeach.com

Aaron Dawson City of Parksville 250 954-4672 adawson@parksville.ca

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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