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Great B.C. ShakeOut prepares Bowen Island for the 'big one'
Despite being a mere 20-minute ferry ride from the Lower Mainland, many Bowen Island residents could face a tough couple of days — or even weeks — if a massive earthquake hits the West Coast.
"Depending on ferry service, if we lost that, it would be a very short list of supplies, and stores would empty out," said Amanda Ockeloen, the municipality's emergency social services co-ordinator.
That's why she's asking for just a minute of your time, at precisely 10:17 a.m. on Oct. 17, when the rest of the province "drops, covers and holds on" in the annual Great British Columbia ShakeOut.
The world's largest earthquake drill has drawn more than 20 million participants worldwide — including about 600,000 in B.C. — and Ockeloen wants Bowen Island residents to help boost registration numbers.
"It's fairly quick," she said. "What I like about this little reminder is looking at all the other steps they've put into place."
These steps include everything from packing away emergency supplies in one's home to simply securing loose, heavy objects around the home.
"I think we all just hope it doesn't happen," Ockeloen said, "or fear makes us not want to look too closely. Like, 'Oh, I'm sure we won't have (an earthquake) here.'"
But she said all the potential hardships brought on by an earthquake could easily be managed if people simply took a few moments to prepare.
To register or to find out more about the ShakeOut, visit shakeoutbc.ca.