Earthquakes can cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives. While we cannot prevent earthquakes, we can reduce the physical effects of such events by using our knowledge of geology to identify and avoid or modify sites where an earthquake can be expected to have the greatest severity.
Earthquakes are an unavoidable natural hazard, but their destructive power can be reduced by
- geologic studies
- roper planning and
- a well informed public.
Ongoing research by scientists, engineers and emergency preparedness officials means they are learning more about how earthquakes are produced and what effects they can have on various structures.
This research has resulted in improvements to the National Building Code of Canada and means modern buildings in earthquake prone areas have built-in earthquake resistance to help limit damage and injuries. Earthquake seismic standards were introduced in 1953.
Although all levels of government in Canada are co-operating in the effort to put emergency plans and response procedures in place in order to mitigate the effects of major disasters on Canadian communities, individuals and families should also take responsibility for being prepared for earthquakes and other major emergencies.