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In the event of an earthquake alert, drop, cover and hold on

New alert system coming next year is expected to provide a few minutes’ warning of a major earthquake, so home earthquake drills are recommended
Gus and Nadine Smallboy and Teron Moore of the Canadian Red Cross and Shakeout B.C. demonstrate how to drop, cover and hold on at the Pauquachin First Nation in North Saanich in 2021. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

The devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria is a reminder that B.C. is the most seismically active area of Canada.

In the event of a mega-thrust earthquake, an early-warning system that’s expected to become active early next year would provide several minutes of warning via cellphones.

The system, made up of about 100 sensors planted in the ground and installed in buildings, will also trigger automated systems, such as diverting planes from landing and stopping traffic on bridges.

Shakeout B.C. suggests practising what to do in case of an alert.

If indoors, you should:

• Drop to the ground (before the shaking knocks you to the ground).

• Take cover under a sturdy desk or table (if there isn’t a desk or table, find an inside corner of a room and cover your neck and head with your hands and arms). If you are in bed, stay there and put a pillow over your head. If you’re in a wheelchair, lock the wheels.

• Hold on until the shaking stops.

Don’t stand in a doorway, as they are no safer, and don’t attempt to run outside because of the risk from breaking glass or falling debris.