VANCOUVER, Oct. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - A record 785,000 British Columbians took part in the Great British Columbia ShakeOut today, joining millions around the world.
The Honourable Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness and Mayor Gregor Robertson, along with representatives from the BC Earthquake Alliance, Insurance Bureau of Canada and the City of Vancouver, helped mark the event by participating in the "Drop, Cover and Hold On" drill during Earthquake Day at the Vancouver Public Library.
"Since launching the Great British Columbia ShakeOut in 2011, we've seen participation jump from 470,000 to a new record of 785,000 in 2015," said Dave Cockle, President of the BC Earthquake Alliance. "I think that reflects an increased understanding of the earthquake risk in B.C. and the need to be prepared. We're on our way to creating a culture of preparedness and making British Columbia a more resilient province."
"'Drop, Cover and Hold On' is the safest action to take during an earthquake," said Yamamoto. "Given that BC has thousands of earthquakes annually, The Great British Columbia ShakeOut serves as an important reminder that every British Columbian must be prepared to be self-sufficient during the initial days after an earthquake. We encourage all residents to have an emergency plan and emergency kits prepared. Emergency preparedness starts with individuals. We're in it together."
"IBC is a proud sponsor of the Great British Columbia ShakeOut because we believe everyone plays an important role in preparing Canada for an earthquake. We continue to work with governments and Canadians to create a culture of preparedness," said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. "By participating in the Great British Columbia ShakeOut and reviewing IBC's Top 10 Tips to prepare for an earthquake, British Columbians can be better prepared well before the ground begins to shake."
- More than 785,000 British Columbians registered for this year's "Drop, Cover and Hold On" drill, surpassing the 2014 total by more than 41,000. Worldwide, nearly 41.5 million people have participated in Great ShakeOut drills to date in 2015.
- More than 3,000 earthquakes occur in BC every year. Most are too small to be felt, but the risk of one capable of causing major damage is real.
- There's a one in 10 chance for a destructive megathrust earthquake in BC within the next 50 years.
- "Drop, Cover and Hold On" is internationally recognized as a life-saving practice during an earthquake. Dropping to the ground prevents the earthquake from dropping you first. Taking cover and holding on help protect you from flying objects and falling debris.
- To help promote the Great British Columbia ShakeOut and the importance of earthquake preparedness, the BC Earthquake Alliance and IBC have launched the "Show Me ShakeOut" poster and video contest for school-aged children. Visit www.shakeoutbc.ca for details.
- IBC, FortisBC and BC Hydro are among the sponsors of this year's event. For a full list of sponsors, organizers and supporters click here.
ShakeOutBC earthquake drills are held the third Thursday of every October. They encourage people at home, school and work to practice "Drop, Cover and Hold On" and consider the importance of overall preparedness. By participating, you and your family, friends and co-workers will be better prepared to survive and recover quickly following an earthquake. Learn more about ShakeOutBC at www.shakeoutbc.ca. Connect online via Twitter (@ShakeOutBC), Facebook and Instagram.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.
P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.
For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada
For further information: IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release. To schedule an interview, please contact: Celyeste Power, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312 (office), 647-384-9872 (after hours), firstname.lastname@example.org