Earthquake preparedness

BC's southwest corner is the most active earthquake region in Canada, and more than 200 earth­quakes are recorded each year in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

Although most are too small to be felt, an earthquake that is strong enough to cause structural damage is expected to happen once every 10 years.

Because of this risk it's important to be prepared.

Protect yourself during earthquakes

When there's an earthquake take these steps to protect yourself:

  1. Drop to the ground.
  2. Take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table.
  3. Hold on to it until the shaking stops (one to two minutes).

What to do if there's an earthquake

If you are inside

  • Turn away from windows, glass and mirrors. Glass shards can fly considerable distances when win­dows break.
  • Take cover in a doorway or under a sturdy desk, table or bed. This will help prevent injury from falling debris. Suspended ceiling panels will often bend and pop out in an earthquake. Do not panic; this does not mean that the building is collapsing.
  • Always look up. Check for electrical wires or other hazards. Stay aware. Do not close your eyes to wait for the earthquake to end.
  • Keep calm and stay where you are until the shaking stops. Do not run into the street; risk from falling debris is greatest just outside a building.
  • After shaking has stopped, leave the building calmly. Do not use elevators.
  • Try to help anyone who needs assistance. If you're unable to do this, report their location to emergency wardens once you are outside.

Once you are outside

  • Gather at the nearest emergency muster points.
  • Listen and follow the directions of the emergency wardens.

If you are outside

  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Try to stay in open areas clear of buildings and power lines.

If you are driving

  • Pull over immediately and stop your vehicle, preferably in an open area and not on a down-slope.
  • Stay in your vehicle until the earthquake stops.


  • Follow directions from emergency officials.
  • Avoid making phone calls.  Keep lines free for emergencies.


Contact Campus Security if you have any questions.