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Emergency Preparedness

Earthquake Preparedness

B.C. is considered a high-risk earthquake zone, so be prepared to be on your own for a minimum of 72 hours by developing a household plan, putting together your emergency kitand connecting with your neighbours. By planning ahead and practicing drills, you and your family will know what to do.

During an earthquake… drop, cover and hold on

If you are inside, stay inside. DO NOT run outside or to other rooms during shaking.

  • DROP down onto your hands and knees (before the earthquake knocks you down). This position protects you from falling, but allows you to still move if necessary.
  • COVER your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, only then should you get down near an interior wall (or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you), and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

What do I do if…

I’m in a wheelchair?

  • Lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Always protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.

I’m in bed?

  • Hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow or blanket. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are. Broken glass on the floor has caused injury to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to doorways.

I’m in a high-rise?

  • Immediately drop, cover and hold on. Avoid windows and other hazards. Do not use elevators. Do not be surprised if sprinkler systems or fire alarms activate.

I’m in a stadium or theatre?

  • Stay at your seat or drop to the floor between rows and protect your head and neck with your arms. Don’t try to leave until the shaking is over. Then walk out slowly, watching for anything that could fall in the aftershocks.

I’m in a store?

  • Immediately drop cover and hold on. If you must move to get away from heavy items on high shelves, drop to the ground first and crawl only the shortest distance necessary.

I’m outside?

  • Move to a clear area if you can safely do so; avoid buildings, power lines, trees, signs, vehicles and other hazards.

I’m driving?

  • Pull over to the side of the road, stop and set the handbrake. Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over. If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.

I’m near the shore or on the beach?

  • Drop, cover, and hold on until the shaking stops. If the shaking is severe and you are in a tsunami risk area, immediately evacuate to high ground. Don’t wait for officials to issue a warning. Walk quickly, rather than drive, to avoid traffic, debris and other hazards.

Information provided by Earthquake Country Alliance.

After the Shaking Stops

When an earthquake is over, it’s important to stay calm and move cautiously, checking for unstable objects and other hazards above and around you. If you are injured, treat yourself first and then assist others. Also, be aware of the potential for aftershocks – and continue to drop, cover and hold on if you feel them.

Do not call 9-1-1 unless a life is at stake.

Learn more by reading the Earthquake and Tsunami Smart Manual.

Flood Preparedness

Flood waters move fast, so develop a household plan, put together your emergency kit and connect with your neighbours. Learn about the emergency response plan for your area.

If you face a threatening flood situation, park vehicles away from streams and waterways, move electrical appliances to upper floors and make sure to anchor fuel supplies. Listen to local officials if you are asked to evacuate.

Protect Your Home and Property

Download the PreparedBC: Flood Information for Homeowners and Home Buyers guide (PDF) to learn about protecting your home and property.


Flood Information for Homeowners


Recognize the Danger Signs

Heavy snowmelt may contribute to landslides and dangerous debris in creeks and waterways. Be safe and don’t go down to watch the rushing water. If you notice trees beginning to lean or bend near your home, or cracks developing in the hillside, consult an engineer or contact local authorities.

If you live near a waterway, a change in water colour or rapid change in water level (especially a drop) could indicate a problem upstream. Call your local fire, police or public works department immediately if you suspect something out of the ordinary.


It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, giving you a one-foot-by-20-foot wall. Make sure you have enough sand, burlap or plastic bags (NOTE: you should tie the ends of plastic bags shut to prevent the sand and bags from washing away), shovels and time to prepare properly.

Instructions on how to build a sandbag dike to protect your property from flood waters.

Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to install a generator?
Installation dependent on proximity to gas & electric services plus applicable tax & permits.
What are the 'hidden' costs associated with buying a backup system?
We tell you before we commence work exactly how much your bill will be. If we miss something on the quote after starting, you will still receive the same quality installation, and we pay for the missed item.
How do I know what the best option is for my situation?
Schedule an appointment with us and for $99.00 plus GST, we will evaluate your home, provide you with a load calculation and total price, including applicable permits. If you agree with the price and proceed with an order, we will refund your consultation.
What else does Absolute Power Ltd. do?
We supply and install surge protection, power factor correction for Industry, provide net metering, custom sound attenuation along with brokering surplus generators through our power generation network.
What if my natural gas line ruptures during an earthquake?
Immediately turn off the valve on your gas meter,pull the fuse on the control board, switch the fuel to a suitable Propane tank and move the switch to the LP position (for air cooled Guardian models). Turn on Propane valve and restart.
If I place an order, how long can I expect to wait for delivery and install?
If your unit is not in stock, a typical wait for air cooled models is 14 business days of placing your order. Liquid cooled units are typically 4 weeks.
How much will it cost me to put my well pump, fridge and furnace on an automatic generator?
To be updated.
What areas do you service?
Primarily the BC Lower Mainland. If you live elsewhere, contact us by email to discuss your situation. We can ship and provide instruction anywhere backup or prime power is needed.
I want my whole house to be on a generator. What do I need to do?
You need to do a load calculation that includes the size of your home to avoid nuisance tripping on the generator. You then match the size of the ATS to the size of your main disconnect. Remember, if it is a 125 Amp service, you still must use a 200 Amp ATS. If you are not comfortable figuring this out, let APL do it for a refundable $99.00 plus GST. If you choose to go ahead, the fee is waived.
Do I need a concrete pad?
All air cooled units come with a mounting pad. Liquid cooled units require a 5.5 inch reinforced concrete pad.