Prepare for the worst

Last week’s BC Shakeout offered residents another reminder of the importance of emergency planning.

Last week’s BC Shakeout offered residents another reminder of the importance of emergency planning.

The premise for the annual drill is an earthquake, but the lessons don’t end there. They underline the need for a planned response to any crisis or emergency.

This year’s event, part of a nationwide earthquake drill, drew nearly 700,000 participants in B.C. (including staff from the Chilliwack Progress).

At precisely 10:17 Thursday morning, participants “ducked, covered and hung on” in a simulation of proper earthquake response.

If participation was high in this province, it’s because the West Coast is a likely candidate for a major earthquake. Experts agree it’s not a question of if, but when. Indeed, in the past 70 years there have been more than 100 earthquakes off the coast of Vancouver Island that had a magnitude of five or greater.

Being prepared for a major quake is not only prudent, it’s proactive.

Last week’s drill not only emphasized how to react when an earthquake strikes, but also what to do when the ground stops shaking.

And that’s perhaps the most important lesson: An effective response means proper planning for the 72 hours following a major incident, regardless of what kind.

Major earthquakes are thankfully rare here, as are tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

But emergency planning doesn’t have to anticipate a crisis of that scale. Even more minor events, like the substation fire that left half the city without power for 12 hours, are made better by a little planning.

That’s not all. Wind storms that knock out power, snowstorms that close roads or rain storms that create localized flooding all provide reasons to pack an emergency preparedness kit and have it standing by.

It’s a simple process, and there are ample resources to help show what you and your family will need to cope in the critical 72 hours following an incident of any kind.

The bottom line is that your mother was right: It’s better to be safe, than sorry.

To learn more, go to www.shakeoutbc.ca/, or www.GetPrepared.ca

Just Posted

Chilliwack couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released statement saying they’re still focused on finding the two-seater plane

Father of teen who died in government care to run for Chilliwack school board

Peter Lang, who is Métis, also wants to see more Indigenous representation in the district

Chilliwack RCMP use bucket truck to nab distracted drivers

Police used the ‘eye in the sky’ on Sept. 20 near the Evans Roundabout

VIDEO: Chilliwack dairy farmer says Trump doesn’t understand the industry

‘They need supply management just as bad as we need to keep it’: sixth generation farmer Devan Toop

Around the BCHL: Merritt’s Matthew Kopperud nets Sun Devil scholarship

Around the BCHL is a look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

VIDEO: More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

B.C. privacy watchdog worries that the cameras are a ‘slow creep’ to a surveillance state

Arborist killed by fallen tree at Maple Ridge Golf Course

Was working near the 9th tee box of the golf course.

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Abbotsford raccoon dies from injuries suffered in a trap

Wildlife protection group offering $1,000 reward for information about incident

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read