If a massive earthquake hit right this minute, what would you do? Panic? Cry? Pray? Those might be your first instincts, but there are three simple things you can do to immediately reduce the risk of getting hurt during a tremor. That’s part of what the Great British Columbia ShakeOut is all about.

On Thursday, October 20 at 10:20 am, millions around the world will take part in earthquake simulation drills in their communities. Earthquake preparedness in BC is a serious matter. Our province is home to hundreds of fault lines. Even though you can’t feel all of them, there are quakes here every single day.

When a big one does happen and the earth starts to shake violently, the immediate risks to people come from falling objects (like furniture, ceiling tiles, and light fixtures) or from your own body flailing about the room. To minimize your risk of getting hurt:

  • drop to the ground
  • take cover under a desk or table
  • hold on to it until the shaking stops

If you can’t duck under a desk or table, crawl into a corner of the room you’re in, staying as far from windows as possible. Shattering glass is another serious hazard in the initial moments of an earthquake. A crawling position, with your head and neck covered by your arms, is also the best way of protecting your body from falling and flying objects.

Once you’re sure the shaking is over, it’s time to pull out your earthquake preparedness kit. Don’t have a kit? Then this is a good time to start one. Here is a link to some tips and suggestions on preparing or buying a kit.

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John Boyd
John joined Slater Vecchio in December 2012. He brings twelve years of trial experience with him and has represented clients before the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the British Columbia Court of Appeal.