Prepare for Disaster with ShakeoutBC
On October 20, 2016, at 10:20am, over 650,000 British Columbians will take part in the province’s largest earthquake drill. We’re a proud sponsor of the Great British Columbia ShakeOut, which promotes preparation for earthquakes. If you haven’t already registered to participate, it’s not too late! But before you drop, cover, and hold on, take a look through these tips for disaster preparedness. Better safe than sorry – an annual check-in on your emergency process can save you time, money, and stress.
1. Check your Home Insurance
Your home is one of your largest investments, so protecting it and your possessions is critical. The worst time to check your coverage is after a disaster occurs – so be proactive and check your insurance policy today. The Insurance Services Department of London Drugs can help you understand your policy and match your needs to the insurance coverage that works for you. You can speak with one of our trusted insurance specialists in select stores, online, or through our call centres – BC: 800-681-6677 and Alberta: 800-693-6862.
2. Participate in ShakeOut BC
Millions of people around the world will practice earthquake procedures on October 20 – if you’re in BC, you can register here to be part of BC’s largest ever earthquake drill! Plus, by participating, you earn peace of mind that you, your family, and your coworkers are better prepared to survive an earthquake.
The “Drop, Cover and Hold On” procedure is internationally recognized as the best way to protect lives during earthquakes. Here are the dos and don’ts.
DROP to the ground.
Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table. If there is no table or desk, take cover in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
HOLD ON to your cover until the shaking stops.
You want to protect yourself as quickly as possible and to the best of your ability in your immediate space. There is no warning as to when an earthquake will occur – without warning, an earthquake could be so violent that you are knocked to the ground. If that happens, you should take cover and hold on. The drop, cover, hold on procedure best protects against flying and falling objects, which are the most likely source of injury.
DO NOT get in a doorway. Doorways are no safer than anywhere else in a home, and they do not protect you from flying or falling objects. Get under a table instead!
DO NOT try to run to another room just to take cover under a table. Instead, take cover in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
DO NOT run outside! Being outside during an earthquake is dangerous, due to falling debris and uneven and mobile terrain. You are much safer inside, under a table.
3. Stock Up your Emergency Kits
We’re got a selection of prepared emergency kits in stock to get you started, but you can also make your own with our Emergency Preparedness page. We also have a Emergency Preparedness Checklist that is super handy.
4. Create a Communication Plan
Photo via Lea Latumahina
The Government of British Columbia has a comprehensive guide for how to prepare your family’s communication plan in case of emergency. Here are the top points:
- Choose how your family will communicate in an emergency – texts, email, and social media use less cell phone battery and are less likely to experience interruptions during a disaster.
- Choose an out-of-province contact that family members can call or text – sometimes long-distance lines are free when local lines are congested.
- Keep hard-copy lists of family phone numbers in cars and emergency kits.
- Identify how your local authorities will dispatch information during an emergency, and subscribe to updates where possible. Resources like @EmergencyInfoBC and @DriveBC will have useful information.
- Expect communication gaps – even texts may be delayed during a disaster, so immediate responses should not be expected.
- Keep calls short to reduce strain on mobile networks.
While earthquakes are a concern for residents of BC, it is important for Canadians in all provinces to be prepared in case of emergency or disaster. Natural disasters happen everywhere and being prepared is extremely important – regardless of where you may live. If you have questions about LD Insurance, ShakeoutBC, or any of the emergency information available here, please reach out in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.