Shake Zone comes to Betty Gilbert Middle

October 11, 2017

Dressed in t-shirts reading “Drop!, Cover!, Hold-on!”, volunteers with the Langley Emergency Program visited Betty Gilbert Middle School on October 5th, to give a demonstration to the grade 6 students on earthquake safety.

Referred to as the ShakeZone, a trailer was set up in the parking lot with an earthquake simulator that is meant to emulate what it feels like to be in an 8.0 quake. Students lined up to try, three at a time. They were seated in chairs, with a desk opposite lined with laboratory items (bolted down). A video played while the device shook back and forth, showcasing what it would look like to be in an earthquake of that size. Students clung to the handlebars on their seat.


The ShakeZone is coming to two middle schools this year in time to prepare students for the upcoming provincial Great ShakeOut. Their hopes, that students that experience the ShakeZone take leadership in preparing themselves and others for potential earthquake disasters.

Many of the students (and teachers who tried the simulator) were a-buzz with discussion of what it felt like. Many of them found it fun, but were awakened to the severity of the shaking. Though the simulation lasted only 30 seconds, a real quake may last several minutes.

One of the biggest reactions, coming out, was that it would be impossible to stand up during such an event. In which case, students were advised that the floor is where you want to be, to pull yourself under cover and hold on.

The Shake Zone will be coming to Kwantlen Polytechnic University on Saturday, October 14 for the annual Langley Emergency Preparedness Fair. The event runs from 10am to 3pm at the Langley campus on the Langley Bypass. For more information about this event visit: Langley Emergency Preparedness page.

The Great ShakeOut takes place in schools on October 19.