Great British Columbia ShakeOut

Make sure to “Drop, cover and hold on” 

Residents across the Tri-Cities are urged to join in the largest earthquake drill in BC history  – the Great British Columbia ShakeOut, also referred to as ShakeOut BC.

What is ShakeOut BC?

Organized by the BC Earthquake Alliance Society, ShakeOut BC provides residents with an opportunity to practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” earthquake protocol and also make sure they are prepared for an earthquake at home, school, office and on the road.

Each year, about 5,000 earthquakes are recorded in Canada – many of these in the seismically active region around B.C. Most are small, but at least nine earthquakes in or near Canada have registered a magnitude of 7.0 or more in the past century.

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake could do extensive damage to the Tri-Cities.

Why is it important to take part? 

Individuals who are prepared for a major disaster will suffer fewer injuries and less property damage, and be better equipped to care for themselves afterwards as authorities work to restore services.

What’s happening in the Tri-Cities?

The cities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody are conducting staff drills at 10:20 am on ShakeOut Day and are urging all Tri-City residents to hold drills in their homes, schools or workplaces.

The three cities, along with the School District 43, collaborate on emergency preparedness planning to ensure a coordinated response if a disaster occurs.

How to participate in ShakeOut BC:

  • Visit to register as a participant and download resources (including sound effects to play during the drill and emergency preparation information).
  • Encourage your family, neighbours and colleagues to take part in the drill.
  • At 10:20 am on ShakeOut Day, practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protocol:
    • Drop to the ground,
    • Take cover by getting under a desk/table (or cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building), and
    • Hold on for 60 seconds. During this time, look around and imagine what would happen during an earthquake. What could fall down on you or be damaged? Make note of tasks to conduct after the drill, (e.g. anchor large furniture pieces).
  • Afterwards, practice what you will do after the shaking stops.

How to get prepared for an earthquake:

  • Do a “hazard hunt” for items that might fall during earthquakes, and secure them.
  • Create a personal or family disaster plan (visit for information).
  • Organize or refresh your emergency supply kits. Consider that you may not be home when an earthquake occurs, and that you may need to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours afterwards.
  • Identify and correct any issues in your home’s structure.
  • Visit for more actions.