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Earthquake-Driving Safety Tips in British Columbia

June 9, 2016 | Accident & Injury

Do you know what to do if you are in your vehicle during an earthquake?

This week, the province of BC has experienced a few earthquakes off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

And if there’s one thing the world has learned from other countries who have experienced natural disasters such as an earthquake, the best defense is preparation. Mock-disaster training will provide first responders and various agencies with the knowledge to work efficiently during a disaster and provide a plan and roadmap. But you never know when an earthquake could hit, and being on the road when it happens can be a daunting thought. Warnett Hallen LLP, Personal Injury Lawyers has done some research for you for earthquake-driving safety tips.

Driving when an earthquake hits

If an earthquake begins while you are driving it is crucial that you are prepared and know the best earthquake-driving safety protocols:

  1. If you are on a coastal road that poses a potential tsunami threat, try to drive to higher ground.
  2. Pull over to a safe area away from bridges, power-lines and overpasses. Apply your hand-brake and keep your seatbelt on. Remain in your car until after the shaking has stopped.
  3. Turn off the engine, but leave the radio on for advisories.
  4. Assess your immediate surroundings for danger. Remain calm and determine your best course of action. If there is serious damage to the road infrastructure or major chaos on the roads, stay put until emergency crews can advise.

Car and driving safety after and earthquake

  • If power lines have fallen on your car, remain in your car until emergency crews can deal with the live electrical lines.
  • When power lines are damaged, cell-tower transmitters have only several hours of backup power, so keep calls short to check whereabouts of family and friends and to make rendezvous arrangements.
  • Rely on the radio for road reports and try to avoid further driving in areas that have sustained damage.
  • Avoid overpasses, large signs, buildings, walls, concrete barriers, bridges, ramps
  • If in mountainous terrain, be aware of potential landslides
  • Do not drive through flooded roads
  • Do not drive over large cracks or around large sink holes
  • Earthquakes always come with aftershocks so remain on higher ground if in a coastal region

We all know that the experts are saying it is not a matter of if but a matter of when the big one will hit the west coast of BC. It has been 30 years since the 1964 earthquake that sent a huge tsunami into Port Alberni. Take the time to utilize all the resources offered in BC so your family is ready for the big one.


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