Are you ready for the Big One?

By Safety, Security and Risk Management

You’re working at your desk when suddenly the room begins to sway and shake. It’s an earthquake. What do you do?

On Oct. 19, in an effort to prepare for a potential earthquake, Douglas College students, employees and visitors can take part in the Great British Columbia ShakeOut – a province-wide earthquake drill – at both campuses (excluding Anvil Office Tower).

“Seismic experts tell us that we can expect a major destructive earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone,” says Rob MacMillan, Manager of Emergency Management at Douglas College. “We don’t know when it might hit. This drill is about practising how to protect ourselves when it does.”

Get ready to drop, cover and hold on 

On Oct. 19 at 10:19am, an announcement will inform people on campus when the drill begins. When you hear the announcement, carefully drop to the ground, take cover under a desk or table, and hold on. If you are not near a desk or table, or are physically unable to drop, cover and hold on, cover your head and neck with your arms and crouch in a corner, away from any glass. The drill will last around 90 seconds. You will be advised when it is over. 

This could save your life 

MacMillan says it’s crucial that people are prepared to take the correct action in an earthquake. 

“This is about how to take that immediate life-saving, injury-reducing action. In a small or moderate quake, you may hear objects rattling in your office or classroom or feel a quiver under your feet. In a large quake, the ground or floor will move – possibly violently – and you may feel dizzy and unable to walk. You will probably feel shaking and rolling,” he says. “You need to drop, cover and hold on.”