Oak Bay firefighter Riley Ireland preparing to drop and cover for the Great ShakeOut. (Morgan Cross/Black Press)

The Great Shakeout is coming to the West Shore

Get ready for Thursday’s drill and a major earthquake

Are you ready for the big one?

Whether or not you are prepared you can still get ready with an earthquake drill taking place across the province on Oct. 19.

The Great British Columbia ShakeOut is an annual event that ties into drills taking place worldwide and raises awareness for the need to be prepared in the event of a major earthquake.

READ MORE: Drop, cover and hold on for the Great ShakeOut

Emergency responders across the Capital Region are getting in on the action and are urging residents to do the same.

“We’re trying to get over a million people this year,” said Capt. Troy Mollin, View Royal Fire Rescue’s emergency management officer.

“We’ve been doing it since they first brought it in.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 660,000 participants were registered for the Great British Columbian ShakeOut. Last year, more than 800,000 people took part.

While the idea of a wide-spread drill unofficially started in California, a City of Victoria councillor brought it to the region and the initiative quickly spread across the province.

Next Thursday (Oct. 19) at exactly 10:19 a.m. participants will stop whatever they are doing at that time, drop, cover and hold for at least 60 seconds.

But a lot of local municipalities aren’t stopping when that minute mark passes and are taking the opportunity to conduct full-scale emergency drills.

Mollin noted the Town of View Royal, for example, will do a full evacuation of its town hall and go into a full emergency simulation.

“You can either do the drill itself or you can expand it to do the whole exercise,” Mollin explained, adding it helps officials keep update on the latest protocols and management plans.

He noted it’s also a great reminder for residents to check the supplies in their earthquake kits are up-to-date and adequate for their household.

For more information or to participate, go to shakeoutbc.ca.

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