Vancouver Earthquake is No Joke

What’s the first thing you do after an earthquake? Open your earthquake preparedness kit or open your smartphone and update Facebook?

The truth is, even though we live in an active seismic zone, only 20% of Vancouver residents are prepared for an earthquake. But an easy way of getting ready is to make or have an earthquake preparedness kit in your home and place of work.

Earthquake Preparedness Kit

Each family member should have a grab-and-go kit at work and home and it should be kept by the front door. According to The City of Vancouver, your kit should contain:

  • Backpack or tote bag (to carry the kit items)
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Bottled water
  • Candles and matches or a lighter
  • Clothing and shoes (one change, comfortable and all-season)
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Food that requires no cooking
  • Glasses or contacts (case and solution)
  • Identification, insurance papers and other important documents
  • Medication (before storing any medications, check with your family doctor or pharmacist)
  • Money (ATMs and payment machines might not be working)
  • Phone cards
  • Playing cards and games
  • Radio and batteries, or crank radio (to listen to news and public advisories)
  • Toilet paper and personal hygiene supplies
  • Whistle
  • Special items for babies and toddlers (bottled milk, diapers, formula and toys, crayons, and paper to keep them occupied)
  • Water – at least four litres per person, per day (half for drinking)
  • Food
  • Canned foods
  • Crackers and biscuits
  • Honey, peanut butter, syrup, and jam
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sugar
  • Coffee and tea
  • Food preparation equipment
  • Knives, forks, and spoons
  • Disposable cups and plates
  • Manual can opener and bottle opener

Instead of making your own Earthquake Preparedness Kit, you can buy survival kits from 72 Hours, a local Burnaby company.

For more information

  • BC Earthquake Inspires ‘We Will Rebuild’ Jokes, but Few Are Really Prepared, CBC
  • Preparing For an Earthquake: Before, During and After, CBC
  • Earthquakes Canada, Government of Canada
  • Survival and First Aid, 72 Hours

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Aimee King
Aimee joined Slater Vecchio LLP in February 2007. Aimee has represented clients in both the Provincial and the Supreme Courts of British Columbia.