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Earthquakes: how prepared are you?

More than 1,200 small to medium sized earthquakes happen in BC each year. Images of earthquakes around the world remind us that there’s a risk of a more destructive earthquake here. The good news is we can all take steps now to feel more prepared to protect ourselves and our families. BCAA wants to help.

Have an Emergency Plan

Make a plan so that you and your family know what to do after the shaking stops. Know escape routes at home, agree on meeting places if you’re not together and an out of town contact everyone can call if local communications are down. Go over your plan at least once a year. Make sure you know your children’s daycare or school earthquake emergency plans too.

Emergency Kit

Prepare an emergency kit at home that can sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours until help arrives.

Step one: buy a ready-made kit or build your own which includes basic essentials.

Step two: customize your kit to meet your needs. For example, regular medications, comfort items for children, or food for your pet.

Store your kit in a place that's easy to get to. Prepare kits for your home, car and work.

BCAA Members get a 20% discount on emergency kits for home and personal use with our rewards partner F.A.S.T. First Aid & Survival Technologies Limited. To learn more visit

Prepare your Home

Even small earthquakes can cause damage to your home from non-structural items being shaken around. Items such as tall or heavy free-standing furniture, a water tank or heavy wall hangings can create safety hazards in your home. Our friends at ShakeOut BC have compiled some tips with more details about how you – or an appropriate contractor – can prepare your home.

Drop, Cover and Hold On

The most important thing to know is how to survive the moment a strong earthquake hits. That’s why we should all learn and practice the life-saving response of “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” So why not take part? And practice year-round until it becomes instinctive.

  1. DROP onto your hands and knees to protect yourself from falling.
  2. COVER your head and neck under a sturdy table or desk, or with your arms and hands.
  3. HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops.

Join us in The Great B.C. ShakeOut!

BCAA is proud to sponsor and participate in The Great B.C. ShakeOut - part of the world's largest earthquake drill - on October 18 at 10:18am. Register online to join and practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill with millions of others worldwide.

Learn more