First aired on On The Island (21/09/11)
Over the past several months, we've been reminded of the destructive power of earthquakes. From the 6.3-magnitude quake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, and killed more than 100, to the 8.9-magnitude quake in Japan, which triggered a terrifying tsunami and created the precarious situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
While most Canadians will never have to live through a deadly earthquake, scientists say that Vancouver Island and the mainland West Coast are due for a thunderous quake any time in the next couple of hundred years.
In fact, many West Coast residents got a reminder of the need to prepare for such an emergency after a 6.3-magnitude quake shook parts of the Island, Sunshine Coast and Lower Mainland on Sept. 9.
Maggie Mooney, author of Are You Ready? How to Prepare for an Earthquake, says most Canadians have little idea about what to do if tremors start.
"I think that a big reason [we're not prepared] is that a lot of us haven't experienced it," she told CBC's On The Island recently. "You certainly talk to people who've been through them and they know — such as Japan. They were incredibly prepared. They weren't prepared for the tsunami to be as strong as it was or for the nuclear part but it would have been much worse if they weren't a prepared nation."
And how does one prepare for an earthquake? Setting aside emergency supplies and having communication plans are important, Mooney says, but perhaps the most critical thing is to rehearse the scenario over and over again. It may seem like a stressful activity, but this will help you stay calmer in the event that disaster does strike.
"The more sense of control we have, the better we do in any sort of situation," she said.
Are You Ready? How to Prepare for an Earthquake
by Maggie Mooney
Buy this book at:
From Greystone Books:
"A four-week program to help you and your family survive. Major earthquakes typically happen once a year somewhere on our planet. Sometimes little damage occurs and sometimes many lives are lost. Knowing what to do before, during, and after an earthquake can save your life and help your family members and pets survive. Use this guide and the checklists inside to get ready."
Read more at Greystone Books.