Earthquake

A major earthquake could occur at any time in British Columbia. Careful planning and preparation can minimize injuries, prevent panic and facilitate rescue and cleanup.

BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE:

  • Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days.
  • Emergency resources will be overwhelmed following a major earthquake. Government emergency response plans assume that you will do your part to be ready.  You should be prepared to take care of yourself for a minimum of 72 hours.
  • Store emergency supplies, first aid kit, food, water, portable radio, and flashlight (with batteries stored separately).  72-hour emergency preparedness kits at work, in your car, and at home are advisable.

Minimize hazards

  • Secure top-heavy furniture and shelving units to prevent tipping.  Keep heavy items on lower shelves.
  • Secure hanging objects so they won't fall off hooks  (e.g. paintings, mirrors, etc).
  • Keep areas behind doors clear of heavy furniture to prevent the door from being blocked.

Have an Emergency Plan

  • Practice building evacuation procedures (Refer to your Building Emergency Response Plan).
  • Identify safe cover in your work area(s), away from glass and potential falling objects. 
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers, first aid supplies, and tools in your workplace.

DURING AN EARTHQUAKE:

If You Are Indoors:

During the shaking:

  • DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON.
  • Stay inside until after the shaking stops.
  • Stay away from windows, shelves and heavy objects that may fall.
  • DROP under heavy furniture such as table, desk or any solid furniture.
  • COVER your head, neck and torso to protect against falling objects.
  • HOLD ON to the object that you are under so that you remain covered.  Be prepared to move with the object until the shaking has finished.
  • If you can't get under something strong, or if you are in a hallway, crouch against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms.
  • Stay away from an exterior wall, as it is more likely to sustain damage during an earthquake.

After the shaking stops:

  • Count to 60 to allow debris to finish falling.  
  • Assess your immediate surroundings for dangers.
  • Proceed with evacuating the building.
    • Follow instructions of Building Floor Wardens during evacuation. 
    • Remain calm, and evacuate quickly and in an orderly manner.  WALK, DO NOT RUN.
    • Do NOT use the elevator(s).
    • Proceed to the designated Area of Refuge if you have difficulty negotiating stairs or if you need assistance with evacuating.
    • Upon exiting the building, proceed directly to the designated Evacuation Assembly Area and wait for further instructions from emergency personnel.
  • DO NOT RE-ENTER THE BUILDING until emergency personnel have notified you that it is safe to do so.
  • If an aftershock occurs during evacuation and you are still inside the building, repeat DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON procedure before resuming evacuation.

If You Are Outdoors:

During the shaking:

  • Stay outside.
  • Do NOT enter a building to evacuate occupants.
  • Go to an open area away from buildings.
  • Stay away fro lamp posts, overhead power lines and heavy overhead objects that my fall on you.
  • If you are in a crowded area, take cover where you won't be trampled.

After the shaking stops:

  • Count to 60 to allow debris to finish falling.
  • Asses your immediate surroundings for dangers.
  • Proceed directly to the designated Evacuation Assembly Area and wait for further instructions from emergency peronnel.
  • DO NOT ENTER THE BUILDING until emergency personnel have notified you that it is safe to do so.

If You Are in a Moving Vehicle:

  • Pull over to a safe place where you are not blocking the road and stay inside.
  • Avoid bridges, overpasses, underpasses, buildings or anything that could collapse.
  • If you are in a bus, stay in your seat.  Sit in a crouched position and protect your head and neck from falling debris.

If You Use a Wheelchair:

  • If you are able, take cover under a sturdy table or desk.
  • If you are unable to take cover underneath a table or desk, move towards an interior wall or an inside corner of the room (or an open area if you are outside), lock the wheels and cover your head and neck with your arms. 
  • Stay away from windows, shelves and heavy objects that may fall.
  • Stay away from an exterior wall, as it is more likely to sustain damage during an earthquake.

Information updates following an earthquake:

Follow instructions given by emergency personnel on site.

 If possible, monitor:

    • cell phone SMS (text message) notifications from UBC ALERT.
    • email notifications.
    • radio stations with battery or car powered radio.
    • www.ok.ubc.ca.

    Last reviewed shim10/23/2015 3:05:45 PM

    Emergency Numbers

    Fire, Ambulance, Police
    911
    Emergency / First Aid / Security 250.807.8111
    Risk Management Services 250.807.8111
    Hazardous Materials Response 911
    Poison Control Centre 1.800.567.8911
    Bear Aware wildsafebc.com
    Cougar Sightings 250.807.9236

    See Phone Numbers for a complete listing.

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    Emergency Procedures