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Drop, cover, and hold on for ShakeOutBC

October 15 2014

Person under desk

Learn how to protect yourself in case of a major earthquake. Participate in the annual ShakeOutBC event.

At 10:16am on Thursday, October 16, 2014, drop, cover, and hold on:

  1. DROP to the ground in simulation of a major earthquake
  2. Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table
  3. HOLD ON to it for 60 seconds

Register as an official participant of ShakeOutBC

Follow ShakeOutBC on social media

What to do during an earthquake

The safest place to be during an earthquake is not in a doorway. In most modern structures, doorways are not any stronger than the rest of the building. Running outside can also be extremely unsafe as it could be difficult to run during the shaking and there may be falling objects and glass.

If it’s difficult to get safely to the floor:

  • Crouch down
  • Protect the head and neck
  • Move away from windows or other items that can fall

If in a wheelchair, lock the wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops.

Always protect the head and neck with whatever is available.

Earthquake information and resources

How to prepare for an earthquake

After the drill, take the time to identify hazards that may be found at home or in work areas, mitigate these hazards, and update emergency plans and kits.

Most Vancouver residents are aware that they live in a high risk earthquake region, but many are not aware that a large majority of injuries and deaths during earthquakes occur due to falling objects, and not structures. Participating in the drill is a great way to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from a large earthquake, whether at work or at home.

Disaster response exercise

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services will conduct a disaster response exercise at Vanier Park at 11:00am on October 16. Members of the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) team will conduct drills in disaster medicine, K-9 search, and heavy rescue techniques, and the Neighbourhood Emergency Assistance Team (NEAT) will demonstrate the value citizen volunteers bring to post-disaster response. 

Volunteer for NEAT or other specialized response teams

About ShakeOutBC

ShakeOutBC is modeled after the highly successful California ShakeOut drill, and is being organized as an annual event by the BC Earthquake Alliance Society and partners. The goal is to raise public awareness about earthquake hazards and to reduce injuries and deaths during an actual earthquake.

Find out how you can prepare yourself for an earthquake or other disaster


Vancouver is at a high-risk of having an earthquake. Be prepared. Learn what we are doing and how you can help if an earthquake strikes.

People looking at their home

Free emergency preparedness workshops

Prepare for, respond to, and recover from earthquakes, tsunamis, heat waves, and other disasters in our free workshops.

Volunteers giving directions at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games

Volunteer to help in an emergency

Learn how you can volunteer for public events, emergencies, and disasters with the Vancouver Volunteer Corps.