Students are led back to class at Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw School last Thursday after evacuating in a Great Shakeout BC earthquake drill.

Students are led back to class at Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw School last Thursday after evacuating in a Great Shakeout BC earthquake drill.

Shakeout delivers lesson

Students throughout the North Island took part last Thursday in the annual Great Shakeout BC.

PORT HARDY—Students throughout the North Island took part last Thursday in the annual Great Shakeout BC, the earthquake preparedness drill that teaches them to “stop, drop and cover.”

But emergency response planners on Tsulquate Reserve also got schooled on their needs after holding their own drill.

“What we need is more repetition, more practice,” Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw emergency coordinator Bob Swain told other volunteers as they met at the emergency coordination centre in Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw School.

At Wakas Hall, the community reception centre, volunteers staffed information tables as “evacuees” arrived from the Band office and Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre.

But the tsunami warning siren that kicked off the drill was hard to hear in some areas, and emergency equipment was not all available.

“We have a gen-set well maintained by the District (of Port Hardy) and kept in their Public Works yard,” said Leo Lawson, the Band’s capital manager. “It would be nice if we had it on this side of the bridge.”