Shaking up BC’s Ideas on Earthquakes

Each year, more than 1,200 earthquakes are recorded in BC. Although many of those quakes are minor, BC has recently experienced quakes up to 7.7 on the Richter scale in the Haidi Gwaii region. To put that into perspective the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti measured at 7.0.


Recent studies of the Cascadia Subduction Zone (Vancouver Island to Northern California) have moved potential earthquake epicentres as much as 55kmĀ  closer to Victoria and Vancouver than previous reports. Based on recent models, depending on the severity and location of a major earthquake, insured losses could be as high as $100 billion dollars with 20% of those losses centred in Seattle and Vancouver. And actual economic damage would be 4x that figure.

Earthquake insurance is just the start to putting together what to do in case an earthquake occurs. Plan to keep your family and business safe and protected. Doublecheck what your earthquake insurance does and doesn’t cover and plan accordingly. Put together an emergency kit both at home and at the office that has what you need to look after yourself and your family for at least 72 hours.

Tips on what to do

During an earthquake… drop, cover and hold on
If you are inside, stay inside. DO NOT run outside or to other rooms during shaking.
DROP down onto your hands and knees (before the earthquake knocks you down). This position protects you from falling, but allows you to still move if necessary.
COVER your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, only then should you get down near an interior wall (or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you), and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

For more details on both earthquakes and tsunamis, the BC Government has a user-friendly smart manual for you and your family.