What B.C residents can do to prepare themselves for disaster

International ShakeOut Day is October 17. At 10:17 a.m., whether at work, at home or in transit, it's time to practise what to do when an earthquake hits. And don’t think this only applies to coastal residents: the magnitude 9 quake in 1700 shook the whole province. Find tips on the Great British Columbia ShakeOut website.

In the Bag

We all know we need not just a plan but also an earthquake kit. These B.C. companies will come to your rescue with emergency preparedness products, including bags packed with supplies for one or more individuals, workplaces, schools and vehicles. There are also custom options, and packaged food, water and survival gear can be purchased separately.

Both BC Quake, in Port Coquitlam, and Delta-based F.A.S.T. have 72-hour packs for one to six people, but the latter, in operation since 1988, manufactures the bags and their contents in-house. Total Prepare Canada in Victoria provides backpacks for 24 hours, 72 hours and one or two weeks. Food for special diets is available, along with camping equipment.

Positive Reinforcement

How would your house handle a quake? QuakeSafe Retrofits Construction Corp. and Shear Seismic, both headquartered in Victoria, advise on and carry out structural upgrades for private homes.