Worldwide ShakeOut day prepares people for earthquake safety

Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek ducked under her desk at 10:17 a.m. to partake in annual drill

Langley City mayor Val van den Broek was in the midst of a meeting in her office with Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Jagrup Brar when the clock struck 10:17 a.m.

On Oct. 17, that time meant it was time to partake in ShakeOutBC drill, a yearly event to get people ready for when an earthquake occurs.

“We have to get used to doing it – train your body to know what to do when an earthquake happens,” mayor van den Broek said. “Practise, practise, practise.”

That practise meant that she, Brar, and millions of others worldwide stopped what they were doing to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” during international ShakeOut Earthquake Drills.

The goal is for people to find a safe space, typically a desk or table, to take cover before intense shaking knocks them down or drops something on top of them.

An announcement went over the intercom at Timms Community Centre, inviting people to participate in the drill if they wished.

ShakeOutBC drills, which last less than one minute, are completely voluntary, but employers are being encouraged to facilitate one at their place of work and people to participate if they’re at home.

“Make sure you have your kit ready,” the mayor added, emphasizing preparedness doesn’t just end with knowing how to get under a desk or table.

”You have to be prepared to be on your own for 72 hours now. Think about your pets and your medication. Have water for three days. If you have information, text, don’t call, because the help line will be tied up,” she said.

Mayor van den Broek suggested people buy a kit or inquire about them at Langley’s Emergency Prepardness Fair.

Read More: ‘How will we tell our kids we knew about the earthquake and did nothing?’

Find more information about earthquake preparedness at

The British Columbia ShakeOut started in 2011 and is held on the third Thursday of October.


Is there more to this story?


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Record turnout for third annual Langley car show against cancer

Brogan’s Diner Fight Against Cancer Car Show was turned into a road trip because of COVID-19

Langley artist Lalita Hamill launches new website to showcase art and share instructional videos

A Zoom session on Saturday, July 18, will serve as a free art assessment and critique at 10 a.m.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Ryan’s Regards: Will the air travel industry once again take flight?

With airlines grounded and staff laid off, going abroad could be more difficult beyond COVID-19

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Most Read