Thursday, October 13, 2016

ShakeOut earthquake drill set for Oct. 20 at Douglas College



You’re working at your desk when suddenly the room begins to sway or everything begins shaking. It’s an earthquake. What do you do?

On Oct. 20, in an effort to prepare for a potential earthquake, Douglas College students, employees and visitors, along with thousands of other British Columbians, will participate in the Great British Columbia ShakeOut. The ShakeOut is the largest earthquake drill in Canadian history.

“Seismic experts tell us that we can expect a major destructive earthquake in B.C.," says Nancy Constable, Director of Safety, Security and Risk Management. “We don’t know when it might hit. This drill is about practising how to protect ourselves when it does.”

Around 10:20am on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses, a public announcement will be broadcast advising we are about to start the Great British Columbia ShakeOut earthquake drill.

When you are advised the drill is starting, carefully drop to the ground, take cover under a desk or table and hold on. If you are not near a desk or table, or are physically unable to drop, cover and hold on, cover your head and neck with your arms and crouch in a corner, away from any glass.

The drill will last around 90 seconds. You will be advised when it is over.

Constable said it's crucial people are prepared to take the correct action in an earthquake.

“This is about how to take that immediate life-saving, injury-reducing action. In a small or moderate quake you may hear objects rattling in your office or classroom, or feel a quiver under your feet. In a large quake, the ground or floor will move – possibly violently – and you may feel dizzy and unable to walk. You will probably feel shaking and rolling," she said. 

"You need to drop, cover and hold on.”

If you have additional questions, ShakeOut fact sheets are available for people with disabilities and post-secondary institutions.