A province-wide initiative is asking British Columbians to "Drop, Cover," and "Hold On" on Thursday morning.
As the Great British Columbia ShakeOut explains on its website, more than 3,000 earthquakes occur across the province each year. While "most are too small to be felt, but the risk of one big enough to cause significant damage is very real." ShakeOutBC aims to help participants better understand B.C.’s earthquake risk and learn how to prepare for one.
"International ShakeOut Day" always takes place the third Thursday of October—this year, that's tomorrow, Oct. 15.
To mark the occasion, the District of Squamish is inviting residents to participate in a "Drop, Cover and Hold On" exercise at 10:15 a.m., joining the more than 690,000 British Columbians who are set to take part in B.C.’s largest earthquake drill.
"The annual exercise aimed at raising awareness about how to prepare to survive and recover quickly from major earthquakes wherever you live, work or travel," the District explained in a release, adding that local exercise will also include a test of SquamishAlert—the free local alert system that delivers emergency information and instructions by voice, email and text—to all subscribed residents.
"This is a 60-second exercise that could prove to be life changing in the event of an actual emergency. Being prepared and knowing what to do during those first few minutes of a natural disaster is critical,” said District of Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott in the release.
“Take part in the exercise, talk to your family, check your emergency kit, get to know the District’s evacuation plan and subscribe to receive SquamishAlert emergency notifications to ensure you’re prepared to look after your household for at least 72 hours should an emergency arise."
District of Squamish employees will participate in the drill, as will children in participating SD48 schools. Those interested can tune into Squamish's Mountain FM for an audio simulation of an earthquake at 10:15 a.m.
A spokesperson for the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), meanwhile, said the municipality will be running a social media campaign this year, and is encouraging locals and visitors to visit the RMOW's website to learn more about what to do in the event of an emergency.
To plan and coordinate your own ShakeOut drill, check out this participant guide.