Grade 7 students Taylor Lezard (right) and Jordyn Hamilton of Skaha Lake Middle School find safe locations during the earthquake drill at the school Thursday morning.

Grade 7 students Taylor Lezard (right) and Jordyn Hamilton of Skaha Lake Middle School find safe locations during the earthquake drill at the school Thursday morning.

Penticton preps for the big shake

More than 3,600 students in the region were expected to drop, cover and hold on as part of a province-wide earthquake drill on Thursday.

More than 3,600 students in the region were expected to drop, cover and hold on as part of a province-wide earthquake drill on Thursday.

The fourth annual Great B.C. Shakeout saw participants from schools, plus a handful of businesses and government agencies, collectively shelter themselves from the pretend big one at 10:17 a.m. or thereabouts.

KVR Middle School principal Steve DeVito bumped his exercise back a bit to work around recess for his 460 students.

“I guess the reason why we choose to participate in the organized Shakeout is that it opens the door for conversation in the classrooms around the importance of being prepared and the potential for an actual earthquake,” he said.

“We emphasize the seriousness of these activities and teachers take the opportunity to go over protocols, including evacuation of the building.”

Skaha Lake Middle School principal Dave Brunelle hit the alarm around 9 a.m.

A rumbling sound was played over the public address system, which chased 360 students under their desks. After one minute, they filed outside for roll call.

Each year, institutions within the Okanagan Skaha School District are required to hold multiple fire, lockdown and earthquake drills, all of which reinforce emergency procedures.

“This is not an area where you get earthquakes very often, but we’ve seen other situations take place where we’re really happy we’ve done the drill,” said Brunelle.

The Shakeout is organized by the B.C. government with help from partners such as the Insurance Bureau of Canada, and coincides with others in the U.S. and overseas.

A total of 670,000 people were registered to participate in B.C., according to the event website, but just 3,778 within the area covered by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

Of the local total, 3,612 were from schools.

Shakeout organizer Miranda Myles confirmed that participation in the B.C. Interior is less than in coastal regions, but noted it’s equally important here.

“While no areas of B.C. are immune to earthquakes, there are different levels of risk in different areas of the province.

“The entire province of B.C. is in a highly active seismic region of the world,” Myles said in a statement.

There have been 11 earthquakes within 100 kilometres of Penticton in the past year, according to an online database maintained by Natural Resources Canada.

The closest quakes, all seven km from the city, were recorded over a 18-day span in May.

Among that trio, the most significant was a 1.9 magnitude event.

The strongest shaker during the past year was a 2.2 magnitude quake that struck at 3:46 a.m. on Feb. 4 about 62 km south of Penticton.

In the event of an earthquake

Before shaking starts:

— Prepare by knowing safe spots in each room: against inside walls, under sturdy tables and desks or archways

— Know how to shut off gas, water and electricity

— Keep heavy objects on bottom shelves and secure tall, heavy furniture and hanging objects

— Maintain an emergency kit with food, water, first-aid supplies, flashlight, radio and batteries

During earthquake:

— If indoors, stay there

— Drop, cover and hold on by getting under a table or desk and hanging onto it

— If outdoors, get into an open area away from trees, buildings, walls and power lines

— If driving, pull your car to the side of the road and stop, but avoid overpasses and power lines

After the shaking:

— Stay calm and check for injuries, render first aid if qualified

— Check for fires, gas and water leaks, and damaged electrical equipment and sewer lines

— Monitor radio stations and other news sources for reports and instructions

— Be prepared for aftershocks

SOURCE: Emergency Management B.C.

Just Posted

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Penticton Indian Band joins for the Children Caravan to Kamloops

The Okanagan Nation Alliance has arranged a ceremony for local nations to pay respects

Directors and alternate directors at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen received nearly $560,000 in remuneration and expenses in 2020, according to the Statement of Financial Information. (Black Press file photo)
Almost $560,000 in remuneration for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board

Costs of directors and alternate directors outlined in Statement of Financial Information

(File photo)
$8M in wages for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen staff

34 employees paid more than $75,000 in 2020

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Goosebumps helped scare off predators

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Sue Birds captured this sunset photo that took place in between the rain and thunder Monday night, June 15, 2021. (Sue Birds)
Stormy sunsets over Okanagan Valley

Monday night had thunder, rain and stunning sunsets

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses a crowd of more than 100 people who gathered at Stuart Park on June 12 to honour the Muslim family who was attacked in London, Ont., on June 6. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
‘It’s gotta stop’: Kelowna mayor, local faith groups honour victims of London attack

Faith groups at the event included the Okanagan Jewish Community, the Baha’i community and the Sikh community

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Helmet selfies and sober pledges: Changes coming after rough e-scooter rollout in Kelowna

A number of changes are coming to Kelowna’s e-scooter program, more could be on the way

Glen Lennon now resides in a neat and fully serviced unit in the Silver Crest Retirement Home, managed by Princeton and District Community Social Services. Photo Andrea DeMeer
Princeton RCMP and social workers find new home for elderly accident victim

“I love the sun and the sun shines on my patio here. I can go out and walk around.”

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

Vernon Elks Lodge secretary-treasurer Maureen Sather says special relief funding for the organization courtesy of Community Futures North Okanagan has been just that: a relief. (Photo submitted)
Zero funding for Vernon Elks club

Once-in-100-years grant denied after back and forth with city for support

Most Read