When it comes to preparing for an emergency, our friends at PreparedBC know the drill. That’s why we jumped at the opportunity to have them share their valuable insight on what to do if you are driving when an earthquake strikes. Read on friends…
“Drop, Cover, Hold On.”
If you live or travel in BC, let’s hope these four words aren’t news to you. They describe the first three life-saving actions to take during an earthquake.
- Drop to the ground, before the quake drops you.
- Take cover under a sturdy desk or table.
- Hold on, since your cover is going to bounce and shift.
With more than 3,000 earthquakes in BC each year, there’s a good chance you’ll need this sage advice during your lifetime. But what happens when you’re not near a desk or table? Given the amount of time we spend on the road, there’s a good chance you’ll be in a vehicle. Here are a few tips for staying safe.
- An earthquake while driving may feel like something is wrong with your car. Take note of your surroundings. You’ll feel jolting and potentially see swaying or falling objects.
- Slow down until you can safely pull over and stop. Avoid parking near overpasses, powerlines, bridges and buildings. Your car will provide little protection from heavy falling objects.
- Turn off the engine and put the handbrake on. Stay in your car until the shaking stops.
- If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside until a trained person can remove the wire.
- Turn on the radio and heed any warnings or directions from officials.
After the shaking stops, it’s probably best to stay put, depending on the level of damage around you. Keep emergency response routes clear and be aware of potential hazards, such as downed power lines, falling debris and collapsing infrastructure.
The exception would be if you’re in a tsunami zone. In that case, move to higher ground on foot immediately and stay there until directed otherwise by authorities.
Last but not least, don’t clog phone lines with unnecessary calls. The best way to let family and friends know you’re okay is via text messaging, email or social media. Data-based services are less likely to experience major interruptions.
- Visit PreparedBC for advice on building a vehicle and home emergency kit, as well as how to create an emergency plan for your family and neighbourhood.
- ShakeOutBC also has great information on quake response.
The third Thursday of every October, thousands of British Columbians “drop, cover and hold on” during the annual ShakeOutBC earthquake drill. This is the best way to ensure you have all the right moves when an earthquake occurs. Register today.
Any questions? Let us know in the comments below.