Students from Ecole Quadra Elementary hide under their desks as they participate in the B.C. Shake Out Earthquake Drill (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria elementary students shake it out for earthquake preparedness

Search and Rescue dogs were also on scene to participate in the earthquake drill

Students at Ecole Quadra Elementary School had a different lesson on their class agenda Thursday morning: earthquake preparedness.

For the 2018 B.C. ShakeOut, students participated in a simulated earthquake drill by taking cover under their desks, and then proceeding to their meeting spot in Topaz Park, taking an alternate route when “wires” were down on the usual path.

While students gathered in the park, Search and Rescue dogs trained by going through the school, helped find staged staff and students in the halls.

READ MORE: City of Victoria to host emergency preparedness workshops throughout 2018

“We’re practicing more than one aspect of the school emergency plan, so we’re taking it a step above just getting under your desk, drop, cover, hold on,” said ShakeOut emergency and crisis response manager Marketa Lund. “We’re practicing what if’s – what if the primary evacuation location was blocked from the school? What if there was a student or teacher trapped?”

Lund said people also need to prepare for what happens after an earthquake happens.

“The most important part of the thing is, what happens to the kids if they don’t get picked up right away?” Lund asked. “So as a parent, if you can’t come to school right away, who’s gonna pick up your child?”

Greg Kitchen, associate superintendent for School District 61 was happy that more unique aspects could be practiced.

“It’s very important to practice so it becomes second nature and also so we can work out some of the bugs,” he said. “Having the added practice of the dogs gives the dogs the training, it builds the confidence with the students and community around if a student would be lost or trapped in a building that we have processes in place.”

READ MORE: Room for improvement in Esquimalt when it comes to disaster readiness

For Hunter Wilfred Lund, a student who volunteered to hide for the SAR dogs to find him, it was a good experience.

“It was loud at first, I was a little shocked because the dog came up to me and barked and licked my face,” Wilfred Lund said. “It gives the dogs more training with kids, not just with adults, so with kids and in schools.”

At the end of the day, students felt that the adventure helped them feel more prepared.

“It was kind of cool because the police were there and they blocked off all the traffic for us,” said Seidra McColl, who added that it was important to do the drills. “If you didn’t know and an earthquake happened you’d say ‘What do I do?’”

Her Grade 2/3 classmate agreed.

“I think it was pretty fun,” Austin Gogol said, “If you didn’t practice you wouldn’t know what to do.”

Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

ShakeOut BC

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


Elementary School Student from Ecole Quadra Elementary return from their meeting area at Topaz Park after participating in the B.C. Shake Out Earthquake Drill (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Just Posted

Sunday morning fire damages Victoria gas station

The fire on Fairfield Road caused $75,000 in estimated damages to tires and automotive equipment

Deadline extended for annual writing competition

Mail-in entry format makes Victoria Writer’s Society contest perfect for the times

Oak Bay deputy police chief and family cut Guatemala vacation short to return home

Belize border, punctured gas tank part of the adventure

West Shore businesses bring fitness online during COVID-19

At-home workouts offered to help community keep fit

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read