Oct 11, 2017 Return to Headlines

Experience a Simulated Earthquake Oct. 18 – and Get Prepared

by Colleen Smith |

COQUITLAM, BC, October 11, 2017 – Ever wondered what it feels like to be in a major earthquake?

Feel the power of an 8.0-magnitude quake Oct. 18 in the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) ShakeZone simulator, which will be set up from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pinetree Community Centre (1260 Pinetree Way) as part of its 2017 B.C. tour.

Research indicates there is a 30 per cent chance southwest B.C. will be hit by a significant earthquake in the next 50 years. The ShakeZone – a mobile trailer that shakes and moves – gives residents a chance to safely experience the effects of a major earthquake, while serving as a reminder of the importance of being prepared.

The Oct. 18 event, which is also sponsored by Fortis BC, will feature displays with information about Coquitlam’s emergency program and how residents can start or improve their emergency preparations at home, work and in their vehicle.

Booths will include HEROS Community Preparedness Volunteers, Red Cross, St. John Ambulance, Salvation Army, Coquitlam Search and Rescue and Coquitlam Amateur Radio Emergency Services Society. Coquitlam Fire/Rescue will also demonstrate the Jaws of Life auto extrication tool.

The goal is for all residents to be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours after a major emergency. The City of Coquitlam provides resources such as:
The webpage www.coquitlam.ca/emergprepared – with information that includes a 26-step plan for getting prepared, tips for the office, planning for people with disabilities, and what to do in case of emergencies.

Free training sessions – offered throughout the year to teach residents how to prepare for an earthquake at home. Upcoming classes are scheduled for Oct. 12, Oct. 17, Nov. 2, 7 & 2, and Dec. 5 & 12, and registration details are posted on the Training webpage at www.coquitlam.ca/emergtraining.

Coquitlam residents are also encouraged to join in the annual Great British Columbia ShakeOut on Oct. 19, 10:19 a.m. by practicing the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protocol for earthquakes:

  • Drop to the ground;
  • Take cover under a desk/table (or cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building);
  • Hold on for 60 seconds, while looking around and imagining what could fall on you or be damaged during an earthquake; and
  • Make note of tasks to conduct after the drill, such as anchoring large furniture items.

More information is available at www.shakeoutbc.ca.

Coquitlam is the last stop on the 25-site IBC ShakeZone Tour in B.C. this year. IBC offers these 10 tips for earthquake preparedness:

  1. Create an emergency kit and store it in a safe, accessible place.
  2. Keep an emergency kit for your office.
  3. Practice what to do in an earthquake with family.
  4. Be sure your vehicle’s gas tank is at least one quarter full at all times.
  5. Keep a pair of shoes and flashlight by all beds.
  6. Secure items that may fall.
  7. Locate and tag water, power and gas shutoffs in your home.
  8. Store water at home and work.
  9. Buy a battery-operated or windup radio.
  10. Speak to an insurance representative.

Those who take a selfie while using ShakeZone have a chance to win a deluxe backpack survival kit through IBC’s ShakeZone Selfie Contest (info at www.ibc.ca/bc/disaster/earthquake/shakezone).

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City of Coquitlam Emergency Preparedness images are available here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskpAFF4C

Media contact:

Greg Kanya
Manager, Coquitlam Emergency Management Office
City of Coquitlam