Earthquake Readiness

Victoria has a one-in-three probability of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years. It’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN.

While we can’t predict or prevent a major earthquake, there are some simple things we can do to protect our families and be prepared for it.

What To Do During an Earthquake

Drop, Cover and Hold On! is the best action you can do to reduce injury and death during an earthquake.                                                 

  • DROP to the floor (before the earthquake drops you)
  • Take COVER under a desk or sturdy piece of furniture and protect your head, and
  • HOLD ON to the piece of furniture until the shaking stops, then count to 60 before uncovering.

You and your family can practise Drop, Cover and Hold On! by signing up online to participate in the annual Great British Columbia ShakeOut earthquake drill on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 10:17 a.m.

Earthquake Notification

In the event of a major earthquake, local radio stations and social media will be key ways to communicate and receive timely updates (e.g. safe places to go should you be displaced from your home).

Get Your Kit Together!

Get your kit together Victoria! Emergency kits should include supplies you and your family or business will need to cope for at least seven days without outside assistance. Ready-made kits are available for purchase at local hardware stores or you can assemble your own over time.

What to include in your emergency kits?

Make a Plan

Chances are you and your family members won’t be together when a major earthquake occurs. Having an emergency plan and methods in place to reconnect with family and loved ones is incredibly important after an earthquake. Establishing a meeting location and an out-of-area contact person are two key ways to reconnect.

Attend a Free Workshop

Attend a FREE Emergency Preparedness Workshop to learn more about the hazards that can affect Victoria and how to be prepared for them. View the 2019 Emergency Preparedness Workshop schedule.

Tsunami Readiness

Although the City of Victoria is not at high risk of a damaging tsunami as other areas of Vancouver Island are, you still need to know what to do in the event of a tsunami warning, depending on your location. What you need to know.

Emergency Reception Centres and Group Lodging

The City of Victoria will open reception centres and group lodging centres in the event of a major emergency. These centres are intended for people who are forced to evacuate their homes and have no where else to go.

If your home is safe to stay in, you have insurance that will cover your stay at a hotel, or you have family, friends, or neighbours you can stay with, then this should be your first course of action.

If you have none of these systems in place, the City will set up centres in community centres, recreations centres, churches, or schools depending on what is available in our community and the type of incident that has occurred.

Group lodging centres consist of cots and blankets set up in large areas, such as gyms. Reception centres are run by community Emergency Support Service volunteers through the City of Victoria and Canadian Red Cross. These volunteers can help people with their immediate needs such as food, shelter, and clothing, if they have no other means.

We highly recommend that people have insurance and make plans with friends, family, and/or neighbours so they don’t have to resort to staying in group lodging centres. Although the locations of reception and group lodging centres will vary depending on the emergency, on the right are some locations that may be considered.



Everyday readiness for every person, every business, every organization.