'Earthquake' to hit KPU Surrey

Mon, Apr 25, 2016

Surrey, B.C. – An 8.0 magnitude earthquake will strike Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) on Tuesday, May 3.

KPU and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) are partnering to bring the Shake Zone, a mobile earthquake simulator, to the university’s Surrey campus, where students and staff will have the chance to step inside and safely experience the effects of an 8.0 magnitude earthquake. As the mobile unit shakes, passengers hold on and watch a video depicting the effects on the environmental surroundings.

“We wanted to do this during Emergency Preparedness Week, which is May 1 to 7, to help promote the importance of preparing for emergencies and natural disasters, such as an earthquake,” says Kyle Klein, KPU’s manager of emergency planning.

During Emergency Preparedness Week, Canadians are asked to take three simple steps to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies:

  • Know the risks
  • Make a plan
  • Get an emerency kit

“IBC is pleased to have the opportunity to join KPU for the Shake Zone tour. Preparing Canadians for an earthquake is a priority for Canada’s insurance industry,” said Bill Adams, vice-president, Western & Pacific, IBC. “More than 3,000 earthquakes occur in B.C. every year and, luckily, very few cause damage.  But at some point, a big one will hit. It is not a matter of if, but when.”

Meanwhile, KPU has recently upgraded its emergency communication system. The university has installed a mass emergency notification system at its Surrey, Cloverdale, Langley and Richmond campuses. The system, which is part of KPU’s overall emergency plan, includes an outdoor siren and text-to-voice message relay, indoor alert beacons throughout campus buildings, computer desktop alerts and digital signage.

“It’s a multiple-channel system that reaches the entire KPU community with emergency communication,” explains Klein. “Both visual and audible cues will capture people who are working at their computers, students and instructors in classrooms and people in common areas inside and outside campus.”

KPU’s emergency mass notification system is a product of Alertus Technologies, based in Maryland. The company’s customers include Virginia Commonwealth University, Boston University Medical Campus, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at kpu.ca.    

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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