Ready... set... drop, cover and hold on

The annual Great BC ShakeOut shakes Nanaimo at 10:15 on October 15, 2020


On October 15, 2020 at 10:15 a.m., residents and businesses are asked to 'drop, cover and hold on' to practise their safety protocols and prepare for a potential earthquake.

Should an earthquake happen, responding quickly and confidently can keep you safe. As written on, the steps to follow if the ground starts shaking are as follows:

  • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)

  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and

  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

If there isn't a table or desk near you, drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table.

As we are in a pandemic, we encourage residents and businesses to participate in the drill through education. This can be done by reviewing your earthquake plans, refreshing your emergency kits or a virtual office meeting to discuss your emergency plans. The ShakeOut drill will be aired on 102.3 the Wave and 106.9 the Wolf.

The Great BC ShakeOut is our province's take on the International ShakeOut Day, which takes place on the third Thursday of every October. It's about more than just practising the drop, cover and hold on response. It's about awareness, knowing the implications an earthquake may have, and knowing how to keep yourself and your family safe. Residents and businesses are encouraged to be ready by participating, even if the day and time may need to be different.

Link to Strategic Plan: Encouraging participation in the Great BC ShakeOut supports a safer and more livable community.

Key Points

  • Drop, cover and hold-on. The official Great BC ShakeOut takes place on October 15 at 10:15am
  • As we are in a pandemic, a recommended option for people to participate in the Great BC Shakeout is for residents and businesses to use this drill as an educational opportunity to review the drop cover and hold on protocol, review your emergency plans or prepare an emergency kit. More details at


"If the ground starts shaking beneath our feet, it will be hard to stay calm. Drop, cover and hold on - it's a simple technique and by practising it, we can all be a little more confident and safe should that earthshaking moment ever come."

City of Nanaimo

"This is the first time we’ve had to ‘shakeout’ during a pandemic. Whether you plan to hold a video conference call to discuss emergency plans, or run through the ‘drop, cover and hold on’ exercise, there are safe ways to participate. COVID-19 is certainly front and center, but other emergencies can happen at any time and it's worth being prepared."

Emergency Program Manager
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • According to the Government of Canada's Natural Resources page, plate pressure is building and a massive offshore subduction earthquake is expected in the future.
  • International ShakeOut Day happens on the third Thursday of every October.


Shelley Legin
General Manager of Corporate Services
City of Nanaimo
250 755 4460 Ext: 5346

Print News Release

Help us improve our website

Don't include private or financial information in this form.

Collection and use of your personal information
Information collected on this form is done so under the general authority of the Community Charter and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA), and is protected in accordance with FOIPPA.  Personal information will only be used by authorized staff to fulfill the purpose for which it was originally collected, or for a use consistent with that purpose. Questions about the collection of your personal information may be referred to the Legislative Services Department at (250) 755-4405, or via email at
Privacy Policy