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

The annual Great BC ShakeOut shakes Nanaimo at 10:21 on October 21, 2021


On October 21, 2021 at 10:21 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 nearby, 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.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to use COVID-19 safety protocols when participating in the drill. The ShakeOut drill will be aired on 102.3 the Wave and 106.9 the Wolf.

The Great BC ShakeOut is part of the International ShakeOut Day, which takes place on the third Thursday of every October. It's 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 21, 2021 at 10:21 a.m.
  • Residents and businesses are encouraged to take the opportunity to review earthquake/emergency plans and refresh emergency kits.


"While COVID-19 continues to be front and center, other emergencies such as earthquakes can happen at any time and it's worth being prepared. Take the time with your family, your classmates or fellow workers to join us as we safely practice the world's largest earthquake drill and 'drop, cover and hold on' at 10:21 a.m. on October 21."

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.


For media enquiries, please contact
City of Nanaimo

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