St. John Ambulance reminds BC to Drop, Cover, Hold on 10:16

SJA-BCY - Prepared for the Big One BC - Oct. 2014

The “Big One” – a megathrust earthquake – has been looming over coastal British Columbia, projecting geographical destruction unseen in the region for over 300 years. You know it’s coming. Are you prepared?

Every year on the third Thursday of October, ShakeOut BC Day emphasizes the importance of earthquake and emergency preparedness.

According to Karen MacPherson , CEO of St. John Ambulance – British Columbia and Yukon, it’s initiatives like ShakeOut B.C. that remind residents that there is no room for complacency when it comes to being prepared for natural disasters.

At 10:16 AM on October 16th, ShakeOut B.C. encourages everyone to take 60 seconds out of their day to Drop to the ground, take Cover under something sturdy, and Hold on tight.

“When panic sets in, it’s difficult to remember what to do, so our advice is to be prepared – develop your own family emergency plan so that every family member is well equipped, and practice putting this plan into action regularly,” Ms MacPherson said.

“As B.C.’s auditor general acknowledged earlier this year, British Columbians are not as prepared as they could be, but rather than focusing on the problem, we should focus on the solution. It’s time we leveraged events like ShakeOut BC Day to empower residents to take responsibility for their own emergency preparedness no matter where they are – at home, at work or on the road. It’s important because during the first critical hours after an emergency, most lives are saved by local people, so everyone has a role to play.”

As one of Canada’s leading first aid providers and a safety training organization, St. John Ambulance has developed a series of emergency preparedness kits aimed at providing individuals and families with the resources to be ready for emergencies like an earthquake. They say the key is to plan to be self-sufficent for 72 hours.

As you finalize your own preparations for ShakeOut BC Day, St. John Ambulance B.C./Yukon offers these top tips for staying safe in an earthquake:

· Move or turn away from windows
· Drop, cover and hold to keep from falling over, or being knocked down – remember to protect your head and neck
· Look for something solid like a heavy table or desk for protection
· If outside – move away from overhead power lines and tall trees, and then crouch low
· If in a vehicle, pull over to a safe spot and stay in your vehicle
· Be prepared for aftershocks and take protective measures.

The St. John Ambulance website features a section dedicated to emergency preparedness, including how to develop your own emergency and evacuation plan, as well as advice for staying safe during different disasters, from hurricanes to power failure, and flu outbreaks. Visit the Safety Tips and Resources page at

Their full range of emergency preparedness products can also be found at

James Chung

Vancouver Lifestyle, Cool Tech & Travel Adventure. Email: [email protected]

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