Get ready to drop, cover and hold on

The Great British Columbia Shakeout Drill designed to encourage earthquake preparedness.

Get ready to drop, cover and hold on.

The B.C. Earthquake Alliance Society is organizing the third annual provincewide earthquake drill Thursday (Oct. 18) at 10:18 a.m. to enhance public awareness of the earthquake hazard in B.C. and to encourage preparedness.

Both the City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo are encouraging all residents, businesses and organizations to participate in the drill, which asks people to drop to the floor, find cover under a desk or table, and hold on.

Karen Lindsay, the city’s emergency program manager, said most people underestimate the power of an earthquake.

“A lot of people believe they’ll be able to run out of the building they are in but what they don’t realize is the ground can be moving six feet side to side,” said Lindsay. “That shaking will drop you to the floor, you won’t be able to run. It’s a very unusual sensation and your body doesn’t really fully understand what’s going on.

“It can take quite a bit of time before your body clues in to what is happening which is why we’re encouraging this drill so people can practise.”

Lindsay added that reports from areas that have experienced large earthquakes say that injuries and fatalities often result from people who try to flee instead of take cover.

“Where most of the injury and death occurs is from the debris that is flying around,” she said. “Things that normally stay still are moving around, or things are falling from above, so the drill is to practise protecting yourself from that possibility.”

The drop, cover and hold technique is an internationally accepted practice, and the event is also a reminder for people to check their emergency kits to ensure they will have enough food, water and emergency supplies to be self- sustaining for a minimum of 72 hours.

More than 12 million people in countries around the world participate annually.

Staff at all RDN facilities will also be participating in the Great B.C. Shakeout Drill, and transit drivers will pull over to the side of the road for the duration of the drill. Emergency first aid and rescue simulations will take place at some RDN facilities.

“The threat of an earthquake is a very real in this area of Vancouver Island, so it’s important to the RDN board that our staff members are prepared,” said Maureen Young, Electoral Area C director. “The Great British Columbia Shakeout Drill provides an excellent opportunity for everyone in the region to think about what they would do in the event of an earthquake.”

This year’s drill holds a particular significance for the RDN, as it is now registered as a Resilient City on the United Nation’s Strategic Disaster Reduction Resilient Cities campaign.

Local radio stations 102.3 The Wave and 106.9 The Wolf will air the audio for the drill at precisely 10:18 a.m. In the event of a real disaster of any type, both stations will be a source of critical emergency information for residents.

To register as an individual, business or organization, or to learn more information, visit

For more information on local emergency protocols, please visit or

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes are off to a fast start this season after no competition last season due to the pandemic. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo athletes back on track, starting with club competitions

Nanaimo Track and Field Club registration filled up

A conceptual rendering of a commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith image)
Commercial plaza in north end of Ladysmith passes public hearing

Councillors debate proposed land use at 1130 Rocky Creek Rd.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Most Read