By Jeremy Shepherd, North Shore News
The tectonic plates didn’t shift, but some of Montroyal elementary’s most daring students still got to experience an earthquake with an 8.0 magnitude in the Cottage Quake simulator.
“I needed to shock people into awareness,” explained Carol Sartor, Montroyal Parent Advisory Council chairwoman.
The mobile simulator, which looks a bit like a food truck but scrambles stomachs instead of filling them, was sold to the kids as a ride, according to Sartor.
They sit inside, clutch the handles, and endure 30 seconds of hydraulic havoc. However, the PAC had an ulterior motive, Sartor said.
“This was the perfect opportunity to use the kids as the education vehicle to the parents to make sure they’ve got the things they need,” she said.
The notion was for the kids to head home after taking the ride and ask their parents about how much water they have stored, whether or not they have purification tablets handy and if they’ve thought to stock their emergency kit with a flashlight, toilet paper, dust masks, and ponchos.
“Ask them: ‘What kind of plan do you have?’”
Everyone on the North Shore needs to be aware of their “personal responsibility” in an emergency, according to Dorit Mason, director of the North Shore Emergency Management Office.
That means an emergency kit that can feed, hydrate and clothe you for at least three days, according to Mason.
In preparing for an emergency, people should ensure their food doesn’t expire and that they have attire for different seasons: parkas for winter and sunscreen for summer.
Anyone on the North Shore should consider the people depending on them in a crisis, according to Mason.
“Do they have pets, do they have children? Do they have elderly parents that need to be taken care of?”
If cellphone service is disrupted, families should establish a meeting place and a way to connect through social media.
“If we do have a significant earthquake it is going to impact the whole Lower Mainland,” said Mason.
One of those impacts may be that emergency response resources could be stretched thin, which is why having a plan and a kit is so important, she explained.
While the risk of an earthquake is a primary concern, Mason also encourages North Shore residents to prepare for power outages and severe storms that can cause the region’s many creeks and rivers to run high and fast.
Following last week’s earthquake simulator, a few families have purchased emergency kits for their home and car, according to Sartor.
“The fact that they got to feel it, helped them shake people into awareness,” she said.
Sartor reminded residents to keep their supplies accessible and to be mindful that a quake could come at any time.
“What a great time to double check the water in your emergency supply,” she said.
To learn more about emergency preparedness visit nsemo.org