Is Your Business Prepared for an Earthquake?

How often have you heard a colleague, a neighbour, or a stranger on the street talking about the ‘big one’ that will soon hit BC? It is something that is often spoken about, but how prepared are you and your business if an earthquake happens?

Making a plan is something many businesses put off, so to help start the conversation, here are 16 tips for making your business and your employees earthquake ready:

Nine Tips for Preparing Your Place of Work

  1. Speak to your strata or building manager to find out if your walls are braced, if there are any roof tiles loose and if is the building in good repair. Work with them to ensure repairs are made.
  2. Check to ensure that any pieces of heavy furniture or appliances are secure to the walls or floors and will not cause damage if they topple.
  3. Fix mirrors and wall hangings so that they will not fall off their hooks if the building were to violently shake.
  4. Put anti-skid mats like Velcro under small appliances like TV’s and computers.
  5. Store important documents in a fire-proof lockable cabinet.
  6. Know how to shut off the utilities in your premises – gas, electricity and water.
  7. Ensure that any flammable liquids, like cleaning products, cannot spill, are away from heat and are safely locked in a cabinet.
  8. Make sure you have fire extinguishers, and that you know how to use them.
  9. Make an earthquake kit including first aid supplies, water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, an emergency blanket and a whistle.

Seven Tips for Preparing Your Employees

  1. Nominate an employee to be the emergency coordinator.
  2. Make sure all employees understand the duck and cover rule and know where it is safe to find cover.
  3. Plan and practice an evacuation of your building. Establish a meeting point.
  4. Create a list of emergency contacts for staff members, suppliers and clients.
  5. Make a communications plan for contacting those staff members, suppliers and clients.
  6. Ensure that some, if not all, employees know who to use a fire extinguisher.
  7. Train your employees in first aid, including CPR.

For more information on how prepare your business for an earthquake, and any disaster visit:

IBC: Earthquake preparations for residents of British Columbia

WorkSafeBC: How to prepare an emergency response plan for your small business