With the number of recorded earthquakes in British Columbia on the rise, there is a greater need for earthquake training to keep residents safe during one of the most dangerous natural phenomena that exists. However, there’s only so much earthquake advice and earthquake safety information that people can listen to before it just becomes “noise" without the real experience of an actual earthquake, a lot of this earthquake training will go to waste, or be forgotten in the heat of the moment.
The obvious solution, therefore, is to have earthquakes happen so people can practice their earthquake safety precautions, but as with all naturally occurring disasters, there are two problems. Firstly, you can’t make them appear on demand, and secondly, even if you could make them happen when you wanted, no one would want that power due to the sheer destruction and the associated clean up and rebuilding costs after the ground shakes.
Fortunately, this problem has a solution. An on-site demonstration from Quake Cottage can increase awareness of the necessity of earthquake training as well as providing an excellent illustration of the importance of using the best seismic fasteners for free standing furniture, both at home and at work.
How It Works
When you book the Quake Cottage team to come to your event, you’re sure to gain a lot of interest! The first thing visitors will see is their large truck and trailer with interesting graphics; enough of a draw to come over and see what’s going on. The inside of the simulator is set up with 3 comfy seats and handles. Across from the seats is a TV in which they stream a video while the ride is in motion. There are also different objects set up and secured to demonstrate how much motion would be going on in the room and what could break around you if it's not secured. Participants receive a brief, informative safety talk before the ride as well as some preparedness education after the simulation. During the simulation, they will be taken through what it could be like to experience an 8.0 magnitude earthquake in our region. It lasts for 35 seconds and the Quake Cottage team is ready to respond to any questions or concerns when it is finished.
Benefits of Earthquake Training
The ground-shaking experience is a real eye-opener for a lot of guests. When people hear about earthquakes, even the shakiest handheld video footage can’t give them an accurate feeling for what a big earthquake would feel like. The hands on experience of the Quake Cottage earthquake simulation gives visitors three main benefits to take away:
It makes it real - Visitors to the Quake Cottage come away with a look of fear and realization in their eyes, having gone in expected a fun theme park kind of ride. The visuals of being in a home setting with the ground shifting violently underneath their feet makes everything that much more serious. Being in that experience makes people think about how they would react as and when a quake hits their town.
They see the dangers – the home set up also shows the visitors just how dangerous common household appliances and objects can be. The visuals of kettles, bookcases and even the flat screen TV that they watch the intro video on shaking like crazy makes it clear how hazardous these items could be if they’re not secured properly. Fortunately, in the Quake Cottage earthquake simulation, everything is held down by Safe-T-Proof seismic fasteners, a fact that is not lost on the majority of visitors to the experience.
They ask questions – there’s the old saying “you don’t know what you don’t know,” and it’s especially true when it comes to seeking earthquake advice. No matter how many leaflets you read or videos you watch, you don’t know what questions you have about earthquake safety until you actually experience one. Despite being a little shaken after the Quake Cottage experience, many visitors come out seeking further earthquake safety information, such as how to install seismic fasteners around their home, the strength of Safe-T-Proof seismic fasteners and what equipment and resources they need to prepare in case of an earthquake emergency.
Quake Cottage in the Workplace
While the majority of Quake Cottage experiences are held at community events, it’s a great idea to incorporate their earthquake simulation into any workplace earthquake training. The benefits of exposing employees to the Quake Cottage simulation include:
Identify possible hazards – even though the earthquake simulation shows the hazards facing shaking homes, the ideas of securing loose items and tall furniture using seismic fasteners is one that can easily be expanded to the workplace. Employees should be encouraged to go through their work environment after visiting the Quake Cottage and identify areas and objects that would concern them in the case of a violent earthquake. They should be on the look for both objects that could cause physical harm to themselves and other employees, as well as objects that would be detrimental to the organization if they were broken or destroyed. Server stacks and computers definitely fit into this last category.
Post experience discussions – another benefit of having employees take part in a communal earthquake experience is the quality of conversations about workplace safety that inevitably happen after the event. Formal feedback procedures will provide forums for employees to talk about their feelings and thoughts during the event, as well as some initial ideas, but there needs to be a mechanism to capture the informal “water cooler” discussions as this will contain more creative and spontaneous problem solving.
Earthquake safety protocols – finally, a workplace Quake Cottage experience gives employees a chance to lay out their protocols for actions and procedures in the event of an earthquake and have them examined by earthquake safety experts. This can involve running earthquake drills with observers providing feedback, as well as a walk-through of the workplace to look at where seismic fasteners could be used to improve safety.
Whether it’s in the workplace or just around the home, there are many benefits of earthquake training through the Quake Cottage experience, from providing a real life earthquake simulation to promoting discussions around improving safety and reducing negative fear reactions when a big quake hits.