EaRtHqUaKe PrEpArEdNeSs

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 is the Great British Columbia Shake Out. While our global neighbours face and prepare for floods, droughts, tsunami, and hurricanes, we train to be ready for earthquakes. Those of you who live in the Pacific Ring of Fire or another earthquake-prone area will likely have done drills at school. Those facing other threats will have prepared for those emergencies.  In a comment, please share how you practice and stay safe–what is your advice?

This guest post is by Laina. She shares safety advice as well as her personal plan. Other posts on earthquake preparedness will be popping up on student blogs soon!


BOOM! The TV falls to the floor while the ceiling fan in your room crashes to your bed and the paintings fly off the walls. Drop! Cover! Hold on! Surprise! It’s an earthquake.

Every year students everywhere take part in earthquake drills. Most students just dismiss them as boring drills that you always have to do.

drop cover hold on But these are important, they could save lives if you remember what you did at that boring drill at school last week.

What not to do.

You may have heard that standing in a doorway, running outside, or using the ‘Triangle of Life‘ are the safest things to do rather than going underneath something. Well, that’s not true.

If you try to run outside then the ground can move under your feet and knock you off balance. You could also be hit by falling, flying items or tripped by objects on the ground.

Okay, then, I’ll stand in the doorway. No! Despite what people have told you before, standing in the doorway is NOT safe. People would say that because about eight to ten years ago there was an earthquake in California, and it showed a house with only the door standing. This is why we believe that the door frame is safe. But in houses today, doorways are no safer than standing where you are doing nothing when the earthquake appears.

What’s the Triangle of Life? (notice how I crossed it out so you won’t do it?)

The Triangle of Life is the theory to seek shelter next to a large building, because  if you hide under a table, the roof will collapse and crush you under the table (it is not true). The theory is that if you squat next to tables or stand next to a building outside it will act as a roof beam that will prevent other things from falling on you.

The best thing to do is find a table or solid structure and crawl under, and count to sixty Mississippi’s: one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi and so on. If the earthquake lasts more than sixty seconds, then keep counting or wait til’ an adult gives you the all-clear.


First thing you need to do is make a plan. You need to make a plan about where you would go and what you would do at school and home. If I was entering the bathroom when it occurred, I would get in the cupboard. If I was in my room, I would go under my bed and if I was in the kitchen I would crawl under the kitchen table.

If I was at school in the hallway I would run into the nearest room, if I was really close, and get under the nearest table. In the classroom or the computer lab, I would get under the desks or computer desks and hold on.

Everyone needs a plan, make yours now.

For more info visit: The Shake Out BC website or visit here to play Beat The Quake to learn about how to secure items in your house.

Image credit to


    1. Hi Evan, no it wasn’t us, but we were in the lab at the time. It was quite interesting to be part of a province-wide event. It’s good to practice so your responses are automatic, not paniky. Thanks for stopping by, Evan!

  1. Hi I’m kate and i personnaly think your blog is really cool! Your Huzzah title is really colorfull and nice. I really like it and you come visit “our Quirky class.”

    1. Hi Nicole, thank you for your kind words! Those images were makes by swinging a camera in front of a light source–can you believe it?

  2. We just talked about this as I visited Hawai’i over break and we live in New York. We don’t really have distaster preparedness because we deal with snow. Today however during my 9th period we had a lockout drill. We discussed the difference between a lockdown and a lockout. The faculty and students weren’t allowed to go out of the building and no one was allowed in. A lockdown is where we are locked in our classrooms and everything is closed off including windows. That is how we prepare for different situations that may occur.

    1. Thanks for sharing that. It is very important to practice a variety of drills so students can stay prepared yet flexible.

  3. Hello there, my name is Charlotte and I’m from Colorado Springs, Colorado at The Little School on Vermijo. This post triggered some hilarious memories from when my school had a tornado drill. Everybody ran into the bathroom and grabbed hold of the bathtub, and to make it as realistic as possible, we all started shouting and swaying back and forth, as if it were a struggle to hold on! Thank you for giving me a laugh today!

  4. Very nice blog post. This is very informational. I think whoever reads this will learn a little bit about the earthquake safeness. Anyways very nice blog and good job. 🙂

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