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REPORTING · 20th October 2011
Merv Ritchie
October 20 Earthquake Drill

At Terrace City Council on Tuesday, October 11, Terrace's Fire Chief along with the Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) regional manager attended to describe a province wide emergency drill. At 10:20 am on October 20, (10/20), they hope to have the entire population prepared to take the necessary steps to prevent harm when the ground starts to shake.

These two people, the first two in charge of any disaster which might occur in and around Terrace presented a slide show and a list of preventable measures. One of the most obvious, but likely not the first thing one might think of when they feel the building on ground shaking, is to get under a desk or table. The pictures presented from the recent Earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan showed ceiling fixtures and tiles as well as bookshelves and other items toppling and falling.

It is these items that cause the most immediate harm. Getting under something and hanging on tight (grab a table leg or something and hold tight) is what they recommend. The shaking might seem like it lasts forever but it is usually less than a minute.

Chief Klie pointed to a map of the recorded Earthquakes in BC that demonstrated we are in a very active earthquake zone and we need to be prepared.

PEP NW Regional Manager, Maury Hurst and Klie are encouraging everyone individually and groups to sign up online to participate in this awareness project.

As of this writing there are 410,000 BC residents already signed up and 8000 of these are from Northwest BC.

Go to to discover more and to sign up.

Direct from the site we provide these details;

How to Participate
On October 20th, 2011 at 10:20 am a locally-driven, province wide “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill will take place called The Great British Columbia ShakeOut. All residents, agencies, businesses, and organizations across British Columbia are encouraged to take part in the largest earthquake drill in Canadian history! The following instructions can assist those wishing to coordinate a drill for their respective agency, business, organization and/or group. Going forward, you can customize and build a drill that suits your specific needs. You can also find additional drill options for those who want a greater challenge at

Simple Drop, Cover, and Hold On Drill:

This drill uses simple steps to inform individuals how to perform Drop, Cover, and Hold On – a quake-safe action designed to protect people from falling furniture and flying objects that can become projectiles during ground shaking.

BEFORE the Drill

1. Register as an official participant at (Please note: individuals, families and businesses should only register once).

2. Download posters and flyers to assist in promoting the drill at .

3. Inform your team:

The date and time of your drill.

How to correctly perform Drop, Cover, and Hold On, wherever they are.
Your expectations for their participation (i.e. Drop/Cover/Hold On, gather at a central location for a head count, post-drill discussions).

Encourage everyone to invite friends, families, and neighbors to register as individuals, businesses, agencies or organizations at, so they participate too and receive information directly on how to be safe during an earthquake.

4. (Optional) Download realistic sound effects and safety information to play during your drill by downloading recordings from

DURING the Drill

1. Announce that the earthquake drill has begun or begin playing downloaded recording and direct participants to Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

Count seconds out loud for the duration of the quake. This will help keep people focused and calm and will help you identify how long the earthquake lasts. The longer it lasts, the more cautious everyone will need to be.

When the shaking stops (or when the all clear sounds) count to 60 to give things a chance to settle. Suggest that while under a sturdy desk or table they look around at what might fall on them in a real earthquake.

1. After at least one minute or once the sound effects recording has ended, announce that the shaking is over and that everyone can stand up again. Thank them for participating.

2. Encourage everyone to discuss their experiences with one another.

AFTER the Drill
1. Ask for feedback on how the drill went.
2. Schedule the next drill for one year later (or sooner).
3. Share photos and stories at

Terrace Fire Chief John Klie and the Provincial Emergeny Program NW Regional Manager Maury Hurst
Terrace Fire Chief John Klie and the Provincial Emergeny Program NW Regional Manager Maury Hurst
Comment by bob on 20th October 2011
I am wondereing why we continue to teach our kids antiquated earthquake preparedness.
The experts that go into these calamities tell us that no one under a desk or bed or table ever lives. The only people that are found alive are the people who are beside the objects in question as they create air spaces next to them, not under them. So the way i read that is it is better to be beside a desk than under a desk...
What Now?
Comment by SC on 20th October 2011
OK, I'm under my desk. What now?

By the way Merv, if you are placing Vote For Merv signs around town, you can put one on my lawn on the 4800 block of Straume. You get all of the school traffic here. Even a big sign if you want.