Earthquake Preparedness: Safety Tips & Planning

October 19, 2023, is Shakeout Day


Practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:20 AM (local time) during the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills!

If you cannot hold your ShakeOut drill on October 19, 2023, select another day and time.

How you can Prepare Yourself in the Event of an Earthquake


Before the Event

Know your needs and have a family disaster plan in place for your unique situation and practice it. Know what it means to Drop, Cover and Hold On. Know where you and your family will reunite following an earthquake.


Make an appointment with your insurance broker to talk about earthquake insurance.

Review your coverage with your broker. Ensure you understand how your earthquake deductible is applied and just how much the deductible is.

Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit, and make sure your family knows where it is kept.

Prepare to survive for at least 72 hours.


Items should include:

  • First aid kit and instructions
  • Blankets, tarp or a small tent
  • Nonperishable food and nutritious snacks
  • Water purification tablets
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Portable radio AM/FM and spare batteries


Other items you may wish to include:

  • Essential medication, toiletries
  • Fire extinguisher, wrench
  • Winter and summer clothing
  • Waterproof matches, candles
  • Bottled water, cooking utensils
  • Money


Identify all the safe spots in your home and surrounding complex.

  • Under heavy tables or desks
  • Inside hallways
  • Corners of rooms or archways


Know First Aid & CPR

Ensure that at least one family member knows how to administer First Aid and CPR.


During the Event

The best thing to do is stay where you are and take cover.


Indoors— If you are indoors, cover yourself under a heavy table, desk or any solid furniture you can get under and hold on to. Protect your head and face. Safe places are inside halls, corners, in archways. Avoid areas near windows.

If you are caught in an elevator, hit all floor buttons and get out as soon as possible. High-rise building residents will hear fire alarms go off, and electricity may fail.

Outdoors— If you are outside your home, stay clear of buildings and overhead wires. If you are in a vehicle, pull over and keep away from bridges, overpasses and buildings. Stay in your car.

In General— Remain in a protected place until the shaking stops. Anticipate aftershocks; do not use open flames; try to remain calm and help others.

After the Event— Remain calm. Check and follow your family disaster plan you have in place. Be careful. There may be danger from aftershocks, fires, falling building materials, debris, etc.


Post-Earthquake Checklist

  • Check yourself and others for injuries
  • Administer first aid
  • Check utilities
  • Check your home for structural damage and other hazards
  • Wear sturdy shoes, gloves and protective clothing for weather & debris e.g. broken glass
  • Secure your home against possible intruders
  • Keep your phone handy. Use only if necessary
  • Turn on your portable radio to hear or follow emergency information
  • Place a HELP sign in windows if you need extra assistance.



Local information on preparing for an earthquake should be available from your Municipal Emergency Program Coordinator.

Also, call your City Hall, Municipal Hall, or District Office. Assistance also may be available from officials at your local hospital, police and fire stations.


Other sources for additional information include

Emergency Preparedness Canada



Canadian Red Cross Emergency & Disaster Services



Contact Us

T: 1 866-669-9602

E: realestate@bflcanada.ca

Make a difference today, start planning for tomorrow.

Book your preliminary risk assessment with a BFL CANADA advisor.