Liz Jones of the Emergency Support Services shows members of the Girl Guides of Canada how to cover their heads during an earthquake. Brendan Kyle Jure photo.

Preparing for earthquakes in 100 Mile House

Branches of the Girl Guides of Canada learn how to deal with earthquakes and other emergencies

  • Feb. 1, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Several young girls found themselves under a table on Jan. 29.

A group of 17 girls from ages 5-15 from Brownies, Girl Guides and Pathfinders met at the upstairs level of the Youth Zone in 100 Mile House for the Earthquake Shake Out Challenge. The Sparks branch did the program on Jan. 30.

“It’s in conjunction with the Emergency Support Services and the Girl Guides of Canada [that they] put together an actual challenge, so the girls have to do a number of items that will fit the criteria so they can actually earn a crest,” said Bernice Enns, guider-in-charge for the Girl Guides.

Liz Jones of the Emergency Support Services overlooked the challenge, which included an earthquake drill and the basics of what to do when a real one hits, how to make disaster kits and a grab and go bag and emergency plan with the

family.

“The earlier you get them introduced to a preparedness program the more they’re able to cope with something if it does happen, even if they can only grasp the basics and that’s essentially what we’re doing,” said Enns.

The girls are taught how to drop, cover and hold on while underneath tables, chairs or beds for safety in case of an earthquake. Jones also taught them to count to 100 out loud to keep them calm and focused. The counting also helps determine how long the earthquake lasts.

Afterwards, Jones went over what should be in what the Emergency Support Service calls a grab and go bag; a bag full of emergency supplies to keep the user in good shape in case of an emergency and if they are out of power or lost for a period of time. The bag should be packed with at least seven-days worth of supplies.

Some examples of what would be in the bag are: copies of personal identification, bottled water, dust mask, prescription and non-prescription drugs, whistle, first aid kit and medical consent forms for dependents. There should be a gallon of water per day for each person in the family.

Even though 100 Mile House and the South Cariboo are at low-risk of an earthquake, Enns said it’s still important to teach young people to be prepared for emergencies.

“All of our girls put up their hands when they were asked if they went down to the coast or California, so they need to know what to do essentially,” she said.

According to Earthquakes Canada, 310 earthquakes have been recorded in or near British Columbia between Dec. 30, 2017, to Jan. 30 2018, the most recent one being an M7.9 quake in the Gulf of Alaska.

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