Karen Sawatzky

Get ready for ShakeOut

People everywhere will be dropping for cover at 10:20 a.m.

  • Oct. 19, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Tomorrow at 10:20 a.m., get ready to get shaken up.

Across the province and beyond, people everywhere at home, school and even work will be dropping, covering and holding on on Thursday, Oct. 12 for the second Great British Columbia ShakeOut.

“We had our first ShakeOut on Jan. 26 earlier this year,” said Heather Lyle, co-chairperson. “We decided to join others like California, Oregon, and Washington State to coincide with them.”

Designed to be the biggest earthquake preparedness drill in the world, hundreds of thousands of B.C. residents have already signed up. It originally took place in January for the anniversary of the massive Cascadia earthquake in 1700, but changed to match the successful California Shakeout that the local version is modelled after.

“California asked if we would join the same date, the third Thursday every October.”

The event is in part a reaction to the catastrophic earthquakes that have recently rocked places like New Zealand and Japan. There have been a string of smaller quakes off the coast of Vancouver Island with one measuring 6.5 magnitude in the summer and a 4.3 on Oct. 9.

ShakeOut hopes to accomplish three things, said Lyle.

• To raise awareness that earthquakes occur here in B.C.

•To enhance emergency preparedness and get people talking about family plans and supplies.

•To give people an opportunity to practice drop, cover and hold on.

To participate, sign up on the website at www.shakeoutbc.ca, and at precisely 10:20 a.m. drop to the ground, take cover under a table or desk, and hold on as if an earthquake was actually happening.

Townsend Road resident Karen Sawatzky said it’s a good idea, but she isn’t overly worried about a major earthquake happening in Sooke.

“Anywhere you live there are hazards. Maybe it’s snakes, maybe it’s floods or maybe it’s famine.”

At the same time, she admitted most people probably have a lack of preparedness. Sooke Fire Chief Steve Sorenson agreed with her sentiment.

“There’s a lot of complacency,” said Sorensen. “You see it when something happens — the phones light up with calls like ‘what do we do?’ and then the calls fade away again two weeks later.”

To combat this, the fire hall is hosting two emergency management speakers — Brock Henson from Saanich and Rob Johns from Victoria — on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. They will be sharing their experiences and lessons learned from visiting Christchurch, New Zealand after their earthquakes of 7.1 and 6.3 magnitudes earlier this year.

“It’s just part of our emergency program to get people prepared,” he said.

The seminar takes place upstairs in the Sooke Council Chambers, call 250-642-5422 to RSVP as space is limited.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Check out the bells and whistles added to Westhills Stadium

Rick Stiebel/News Staff Clusters of tradespeople buzzing around busy with last-minute preparations… Continue reading

Saanich approves new eight- and 11-storey residence buildings for UVic

Residents also supported the environmentally friendly residences

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Police find shoes, backpack of the man found dead in Saanich

Officers credit public’s help, continue to seek information

Ravens Crossing breaks ground on happy Hygge cohousing project

Speeches, music and a blessing as 80 people attend start of Danish-style development

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Most Read