Earthquakes are common in many regions of BC, but the coastal area is especially susceptible. The San Andreas fault is the line between the Juan de Fuca plate and the North American plate which is the Cascadia subduction zone where the Juan de Fuca plate slides under the North American plate which can cause massive tsunamis and earthquakes that can destroy homes, buildings and property.
When the region you live in is called the Pacific Ring of Fire, you need to take preparedness seriously. This site will delve into how to prepare for the worst if, and when, a serious earthquake occurs.
In my circumstance, I live in Abbotsford, which means that I am in a region that could be ravaged by a large earthquake which could result in destruction, death and the loss of essential needs such as power, access to food and shelter.
The higher the magnitude an earthquake is, the worse the possible damage. This chart shows you the frequency of the different types of earthquakes and the areas that have been hit by large earthquakes in the recent past. The worst earthquakes that we know of that have hit BC were in 1946, 7.3 magnitude; 1949, 8.1 magnitude; 1970, 7.4 magnitude; and 2012, 7.7 magnitude (5 biggest, 2014). These show us that earthquakes may be infrequent, but not impossible. Being careful and prepared is essential.
The location to the fault line means that when a major earthquake does happen it will be devastating. The quake could result in a tsunami that could push inland as far as Langley. The earthquake and the potential tremors thereafter means being as cautious as possible when assuming the worst is over.
Click the arrow to see how best to prepare for the worst.
Making A Plan
Prepare, prepare, prepare, as the old saying goes. Being prepared means understanding the potential risks that go along with major earthquakes and how to plan accordingly.
According to the "Get Prepared" website of British Columbia, making several lists is the best way to stay ahead of a big natural disaster.
Make a list of known numbers in case you lose access to your phone
Have a meeting spot for you and your loved ones in case of an emergency
Determine the best way and place to get up to date information on the fly
Know how your utilities operate to properly turn them off if needed.
Store emergency rations and a water supply that will last at least 1 week
Know how to properly secure your home in the event that there is damage to entrances.
Have an emergency grab-and-go bag ready and on hand in case of the unexpected.
This is not a comprehensive list but it is a great starting point for being prepared.
As important as making a list is, one must remember that earthquakes can occur at any time. There is rarely any notice given before one occurs and being prepared in as many circumstances as possible is the most ideal way to stay alive. This can mean not only having a grab-and-go bag in your home but also in your vehicle and place of work.
So what do you do if an emergency occurs? Find out next by clicking the arrow.
So after understanding what an earthquake is, when it can occur and how to best plan for it. Its time to implement those plans.
The first thing we do is determine all the exits in our home:
Next we find out where to find cover in our homes. This includes all sections of our home, the kitchen, the bedroom, anywhere where we might spend plenty of time. Tables, desks, under our bed and away from possible falling objects is essential. Earthquakes can happen fast, so having in mind where to go prior to them happening is a great way to stay prepared.
Then, we put our earthquake kit together:
First Aid supplies (band-aids, pain killers, splints, rubbing alcohol, etc.)
Wind-up equipment (radio, flashlight)
Cash and possibly a pre-paid flip phone
A copy of the emergency plan and other important contact info
What you put in your kit is up to you, but try and think about all the possible issues that could arise in the dark, without power and without an ability to communicate with the outside world like you normally would. Remember that tou can always put your own kit together, but you can also buy a ready made kit from several locations online.
And most of all remember:
Being prepared can save you and your loved ones lives.