Most British Columbians not ready for the big one

Majority of British Columbians remain ill-prepared for an emergency.

Despite the high level concern about an earthquake and the belief that a strong one will hit in the next half century, the majority of British Columbians remain ill-prepared for an emergency.

An Angus Reid Public Opinion poll, conducted in partnership with Great British Columbia ShakeOut, found 61 per cent of British Columbians are concerned about being personally affected by an earthquake, and 87 per cent think it is likely an earthquake strong enough to damage buildings will in occur in B.C. in the next 50 years.

Even with the unease about earthquakes, 60 per cent of those surveyed acknowledged they do not have an emergency kit with supplies in case of emergency and 70 per cent have not prepared an emergency plan.

“If you feel an earthquake, you should follow the internationally recognized Drop, Cover and Hold On protocol when an earthquake hits,” said Emily Dicken, Great British Columbia ShakeOut organizing committee co-chairwoman. “By practising this response, you can help minimize injuries and damage.”

But preparation must extend beyond just being ready to survive the initial quake.

What will sustain individuals and families in the hours and days following is being prepared with an emergency plan and an emergency kit.