The Great ShakeOut earthquake drill is coming back to Campbell River. 

The drill is based on scenario earthquakes that could affect the community if they actually happen. The exercise gives people in homes, schools, business, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes and to improve preparedness.

“This exercise focuses on the area at potential risk in the event of a dam failure after a major earthquake,” Strathcona Regional District Board Chair Michele Babchuk said.

“After the standard drop-cover-and-hold practice drill, residence in Campbell River will be asked to evacuate parts of the city and head for higher ground.”

There is a potential risk of dam failure from a severe earthquake at the John Hart Dam or Strathcona Dam until BC Hydro seismically upgrades the facilities.

BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson says the utility is already going through the planning stages on the upgrades, with construction possibly beginning in 2023/2024.

“The heavily populated downtown area is especially at risk, so after the severe shaking stops people should immediately move out of the evacuation area for their safety.”

The drill will be on October 17th, starting at 10:17 am. After the “shaking” stops, participants must count to 60 and begin evacuation. Participants are asked to go to one of the five checkpoints on foot or by bicycle.

The checkpoints are:

  • The Maritime Heritage Centre
  • Volunteer Campbell River
  • Ecole Phoenix Middle School
  • Woodburn Road and Spring Road
  • 9th Avenue and Ironwood Road

In the event of an actual earthquake, the five checkpoints will not be set up or present. They’re being set up for the drill to give people a visual aid of where the safety zones in the city are. 

For more information on the SRD’s emergency plans and maps, visit the district’s site.