It’s that time of year again! Time to get – as the kids say – ‘shook.’ (I’m sure they’re talking about earthquakes… right?)
The Great Shake Out is an international earthquake drill, practiced by millions of people around the globe. In Canada, most participation comes from British Columbia thanks to our closeness with the local fault lines. That said, if you live in the Quebec area check out this article on your very own fault line and consider joining Shake Out too.
FAQs on Shake Out BC
When is Shake Out?
The 2019 Shake Out is happening on October 17 at 10:17 am.
Who Can Participate?
While the majority of registered participants are colleges, universities, elementary schools, and businesses, anyone can participate! Over 300 BC families registered in 2018 and it’s likely that more joined in without formally signing up.
There is no obligation to register, but it does help the wonderful people who organize Shake Out to keep track of how the event is doing. You can see how many organizations have registered on the Shakeoutbc.ca page.
You also have the option as being listed as a participant on the shakeoutbc.ca page which is good for businesses looking to show their employees that they’re in safe hands. There are plenty of resources to help you plan and advertise your Shake Out drill and prepare your business for ‘the Big One.’
What does an earthquake drill look like?
If you grew up in BC, there’s a good chance you practiced earthquake drills in school. At their core they haven’t changed much: someone announces the earthquake, everyone drops to the ground, takes cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, and holds on to their hiding place. Everyone counts to 60 seconds to give any immediate aftershocks the chance to trigger, and then the building is evacuated in an orderly fashion.
This is mostly unchanged. What’s different? As adults, we have more responsibility and Shake Out is the perfect opportunity to practice the more intense parts of an emergency that kids don’t have to deal with. Use signs to indicate blocked exits or hallways, have emergency team staff represent wounded people or even fires, and/or require everyone to check in with an emergency warden before returning to work (you’ll be surprised how many people will skip this step!)
Giving staff the chance to react to challenges they may face in an emergency is the best way to make sure that if these occurrences happen they are ready.
What else can I do?
Sit down with your class, family, or organization and go over the emergency routes, supplies, and plans that are in place for an earthquake. Speak to them about what to expect and how you would like them to behave in a perfect world. If you’re a leader in your organization consider having a professional come to the office in the weeks leading up to Shake Out to talk to staff about how they can prepare at home. Our sister company, Total Prepare, offers workshops that are great for this.
You can also encourage participation by building a personal emergency kit with your kids, or giving away emergency specific door prizes or favours to staff. For teachers, consider the Masters of Disaster curriculum published by Prepared BC.
If you don’t already have one, consider getting an emergency kit for your home, school, or workplace. Shake Out is a great reminder to go through existing kits too and check expiration dates and electronics.
Does Quake Kit Participate?
You bet we do! Even if our staff are out of office for meetings we do our best to set an example and Drop, Cover, and Hold On!
Thank you for reading.
This article was written by Zenia Platten – Author of Tethered and Emergency Preparedness Professional.