Earthquake drill in U.S., New Zealand, B.C.

  • Sep. 23, 2011 1:00 p.m.

The force of nature keeps making itself apparent. A jolt here. A tremor there. A 6.4 magnitude earthquake off Vancouver Island Sept. 9, an apocalyptic earthquake in Japan six months ago.

With shaking going on all over, more people will pay attention to the B.C. Shakeout drill this Oct. 20 at exactly 10:20 a.m.

This time, they’ll join millions of others on the U.S. West Coast and New Zealand, all part of the Ring of Fire, and take part in the Drop, Cover and Hold-On drill that will increase chances of surviving the big one.

The drill takes only a minute and offers residents, businesses and agencies the opportunity to practise the recommended safety technique of dropping down beneath a table or chair and holding on to that while the shaking is going on. Running outside or standing beneath a doorway aren’t recommended.

While it takes only minutes, people are encouraged to register for the drill by visiting www.shakeoutbc.ca or e-mailing info@shakeoutbc.ca.

According to the Shakeout B.C. organizing committee, B.C. has one of the most active seismic faults in the world and has about 1,200 quakes a year.

People also are encouraged to review their emergency plans and supplies should a quake hit. With possible disruption of modern conveniences, people should have water and food and supplies on hand to last a few days following the quake.

A Shake Out drill already took place in January, but the date now has been changed to October so it coincides with drills in other countries.

District of Maple Ridge staff will be participating in the Shake Out drill and encourage the public to do the same.

The City of Pitt Meadows is not joining in the Shakeout drill because it had one in January. However, it will resume the drill next October 2012.