Week 19 – When you feel the Earth start to move what do you do?


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By Jackie Kloosterboer – Speaker, Trainer, 
Author – My Earthquake Preparedness Guide 

QUESTION:  What do you do when you feel the earth start to move ?

Run outside?     Stand in a doorway?     Do the Triangle of Life? 

YOU – Drop Cover and Hold On!

Drop, Cover and Hold On is what will protect you and your family when facing an Earthquake.  Each and everyone of us needs to know what to do when facing an Earthquake and for those of us living in areas that can be impacted by earthquakes – Drop, Cover and Hold On needs to become second nature to us. 

The moment you feel the earth start to move you MUST Drop, Cover and Hold On to better protect yourself.
I would love to know how many people actually did this when we had our Earthquake in BC last December. Based on the people I have talked to at Earthquake Preparedness Sessions – most did not Drop, Cover and Hold On.  This my friends, is what will better protect you when facing an earthquake!
Most injuries in an earthquake happen from people doing the wrong thing.  When facing an Earthquake it is human nature to want to flee to safety, to run and check on family members but you are putting yourself in danger.  When the ground is moving that is when heavy furniture and other items will come crashing down to the floor and items will be shooting across the room.  You don’t want to be caught in this as it could cause serious injury.   
If you have kids at home when facing an earthquake your first reaction will be to run and check on them – but instead, you must Drop, Cover and Hold On until the shaking stops. When the shaking has stopped, count to 60, survey your area for fallen or broken objects and then go check on your kids.  If you are knocked unconscious running down the hall during an Earthquake who will look after your kids while you lie on the floor?   

Your home should be properly prepared so your family and pets will be safe. Depending on your kids ages, have them sing a song when they are under the table. This way you can hear that they are ok. Let your kids pick a favourite song and then  Practice Drop, Cover and Hold On until it becomes second nature!
If you don’t have a table or desk to get under then you are best to go against an interior wall and Drop down, Cover your head and Brace yourself against the wall until the shaking stops.  Make sure there are no heavy pictures hanging on the wall or other furniture that could injure you. Make sure to move away from windows.

From time to time an email may show up in your inbox promoting the Triangle of Life.  In Canada and the USA we teach to the Red Cross Standards and they do not promote the Triangle of Life in Canada or the USA.  Instead of Drop, Cover and Hold On the Triangle of Life suggests you take cover beside a solid item that will provide a protective space that will help you better survive the earthquake in the event the building you are in pancakes. What the Triangle of Life does not take into consideration is – in Canada and the USA we have building codes in place to better protect us.  
To read more on the Triangle of Life visit  www.earthquakecountry.org/dropcoverholdon/      
In school many of us were told to stand in a doorway when facing an earthquake.  This is no longer the case.  Standing in an open doorway puts you in danger as you have debris coming at you from two directions and if it is a door that opens and closes you could be injured if the door slams shut on your fingers.
Drop, Cover and Hold On – this is what we all need to do.

You’re Task for Week #19

  • 1.    With your family go room to room in your house  identifying the best places to be in each room  when facing an earthquake?  (underneath a desk, table or heavy piece of furniture or against an interior wall with no heavy pictures hanging and away from glass.)
  • 2.    Practice “What If there was Earthquake” – as you go about your daily routine ask yourself – what would I do if there was an Earthquake right now?  Practice this with your family – make it a game. Talk about the options you have.   When facing an earthquake, you will make a much better and quicker decision if you know what to do. You will likely not panic which could cause you to do the wrong thing. Practicing Drop, Cover and Hold On before the Earthquake  could save your life and the life of your family members.

Week 20 we will look at what to do in different situations when facing an earthquake.
Have questions – don’t hesitate to ask. Until next week – Stay safe and make sure you, your family and pets are prepared for earthquake or any disaster that may come your way.
Jackie Kloosterboer – BIO
Jackie Kloosterboer has been leading the way in earthquake preparedness for 2 decades presenting more than 100 Earthquake Preparedness sessions each year to a variety of groups and businesses. She is often interviewed by a variety of media outlets across Canada as she promotes the importance of earthquake and disaster preparedness.
As an Emergency Preparedness Specialist and an Instructor with the Justice Institute of BC Jackie travels across Canada teaching people how to respond to disasters to help those who have been displaced. Throughout British Columbia Jackie has taken on leadership roles assisting those who have been impacted by disaster.

Jackie is available to speak to your group or business to help get them prepared for earthquakes or whatever disaster comes your way. Jackie will take you through the necessary steps identifying what is important to you and your family or business.

Contact Jackie with questions or to book her for your next event.  jackie@survive-it.ca or 604 355-2414

Jackie is available for:
Book Sales
Earthquake Preparedness Presentations
Preparedness Plans
In-Home Walk-Throughs
Preparedness Kits
Media Interviews

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