RICHMOND, Oct. 20, 2016 /CNW/ - A record 800,000 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 along with representatives from the BC Earthquake Alliance, Insurance Bureau of Canada and London Drugs helped mark the event by participating in the "Drop, Cover and Hold On" drill on ShakeOutBC Day at London Drugs Head Office.
"The Great British Columbia ShakeOut is gaining more and more traction. This year we saw the largest number of British Columbians take part, with registration growing more than 300,000 since launching the drill in 2011," said Dave Cockle, President of the BC Earthquake Alliance. "This year, we worked with London Drugs to highlight their great work on business continuity and preparedness. It is important for individuals to be prepared both at home and at work, in order to ensure a resilient B.C. in the event of an earthquake."
"'Drop, Cover and Hold On' is the safest action to take during an earthquake," said Yamamoto. "We live in earthquake country and know that B.C experiences thousands of earthquakes annually. The Great British Columbia ShakeOut drill provides 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 for disaster."
"Governments, businesses, and all British Columbians have a role to play in creating a true culture of earthquake preparedness throughout the province," said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. "By participating in the Great British Columbia ShakeOut, you demonstrate your commitment to ensuring we are all prepared for the Big One."
"London Drugs has enacted our largest-ever emergency preparedness drill today at our head office in Richmond and all 51 store locations in B.C.," said Clint Mahlman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, London Drugs. "Working together with ShakeOutBC, emergency response partners and response agencies, we have been able to significantly elevate awareness amongst all of our staff and neighbouring businesses about the importance of being prepared and the tools and planning required for proper preparedness. London Drugs will continue to build on this 2016 ShakeOutBC event with ongoing dedication and commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers."
- More than 800,000 British Columbians registered for this year's "Drop, Cover and Hold On" drill, surpassing the 2015 total by more than 15,000. Worldwide, nearly 41.5 million people have participated in Great ShakeOut drills to date in 2016.
- 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, Health Emergency Management BC, BCAA and BC Hydro are among the sponsors of this year's event. For a full list of sponsors, organizers and supporters click here.
The Great British Columbia ShakeOut aims to raise awareness about BC's earthquake risk and the importance of "Drop, Cover and Hold On." In 2015, more than 770,000 British Columbians participated in the annual drill, joining more than 43 million people worldwide. For information about ShakeOutBC and how to take part, please visit www.shakeoutbc.ca. You can also connect with ShakeOutBC on Twitter (@ShakeOutBC), Facebook and Instagram.
About London Drugs
Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs has 79 stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba including its online store. London Drugs offers consumers a range of products from digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 7,500 people with pharmacy and health care services being the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring company and continues to position itself for future growth and development.
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 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.
For media releases and more information, please visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
Why "Drop, Cover and Hold On"?
"Drop, Cover, Hold On" is internationally recognized as the best way to prevent injuries and save lives during an earthquake. Dropping to the ground prevents the earthquake from causing you to fall. Taking cover and holding helps protect you from flying objects and falling debris. Follow the link for short informational videos on proper form and more on why it works: http://ow.ly/T2y2x.
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada
Image with caption: "The Great British Columbia ShakeOut (CNW Group/Insurance Bureau of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161020_C2355_PHOTO_EN_800900.jpg
Image with caption: "London Drugs (CNW Group/Insurance Bureau of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161020_C2355_PHOTO_EN_800902.jpg
Image with caption: "Insurance Bureau of Canada (CNW Group/Insurance Bureau of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161020_C2355_PHOTO_EN_800904.jpg
For further information: spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this advisory. The Great British Columbia ShakeOut, Media Relations, [email protected]; Wendy Hartley, London Drugs Media Relations, 604-817-2758, [email protected]; Andrew McGrath, Manager, Media Relations, Insurance Bureau of Canada, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312, [email protected]