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Editorial: Earthquake preparedness takes a community

Great B.C. ShakeOut is this Thursday, Oct. 21
A map of events logged by Earthquakes Canada over the past six months. (Earthquakes Canada image)

Earthquakes are unpredictable, but earthquake preparedness is something we can control.

An annual provincewide earthquake drill, the Great B.C. ShakeOut, happens Thursday, Oct. 21, at 10:21 a.m., and both the City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo are encouraging participation, whether at work, at school or at home.

“British Columbia is considered high risk for earthquakes and ShakeOut B.C. is an opportunity to practise how to be prepared,” noted the RDN in a press release.

In addition to the drop-cover-and-hold-on part of the drill, the Great B.C. ShakeOut is meant to create discussion about our emergency plans and how we can improve them and update them.

It’s also a time to go through emergency preparedness kits and ensure we have the necessary supplies to survive for three or more days following a quake – food and water for people and pets, extra clothing, sturdy shoes, medication and other necessities. The City of Nanaimo produced a new YouTube video on how to prepare emergency kits, and both the city and RDN websites have checklists of suggested supplies.

The regional district also recommends doing a “hazard hunt” to identify items that might fall during an earthquake and taking steps to secure those items.

“We don’t know when a disaster will hit, but there are steps we can take to be ready,” said Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog, in a press release. “You can protect yourself and your family by preparing an emergency kit, developing an escape plan, signing up for the city’s Voyent Alert emergency alert system and knowing how to react in an emergency such as an earthquake.”

Most of us know to drop to the ground in an earthquake, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on. And once the shaking stops, our neighbourhoods and our city will be better off if more of us are prepared to handle what comes after the aftershocks.

RELATED: October is dedicated to emergency preparedness in Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Nanaimo gets prepared for the Great B.C. ShakeOut

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About the Author: Nanaimo Bulletin News Staff

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