Great British Columbia Shakeout

Residents across the Tri-Cities are urged to join in the largest earthquake drill in BC history on January 26 at 10 am – the Great British Columbia ShakeOut, also referred to as ShakeOut BC.

Organized by the BC Earthquake Alliance Society, ShakeOut BC provides residents with an opportunity to practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” earthquake protocol and also make sure they are prepared for an earthquake at home, school, office and on the road.

The date chosen for ShakeOut BC is the anniversary of a magnitude nine earthquake that hit B.C. on Jan. 26, 1700.

Each year, about 5,000 earthquakes are recorded in Canada – many of these in the seismically active region around B.C. Most are small, but at least nine earthquakes in or near Canada have registered a magnitude of seven or more in the past century.

A magnitude six earthquake could do extensive damage to the Tri-Cities. Individuals who are prepared for a major disaster will suffer fewer injuries and less property damage, and be better equipped to care for themselves afterwards as authorities work to restore services.

The cities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody are conducting staff drills at 10 a.m. on Jan. 26 and are urging all Tri-City residents to hold drills in their homes, schools or workplaces. The three cities, along with the School District 43, collaborate on emergency preparedness planning to ensure a coordinated response if a disaster occurs.

You can take part anywhere you happen to be on January 26 at 10 am. Here’s what you do:

  • DROP to the floor.
  • Take COVER by getting under a desk/table (or cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building).
  • HOLD ON for 60 seconds. During this time, look around and imagine what would happen during an earthquake. What could fall down on you or be damaged? Make note of tasks to conduct after the drill, (e.g. anchor large furniture pieces).

Of course, preparing for an earthquake doesn’t end here. Residents are also encouraged to create a personal or family disaster plan, and organize or refresh your emergency supply kits. Consider that you may not be home when an earthquake occurs, and that you may need to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours afterwards.

To find out more, or to register to participate, visit

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