- The B.C. Earthquake Immediate Response Plan (IRP) is the first component of a comprehensive provincial plan for earthquake response, and it sets the conditions for the subsequent planning efforts: sustained response and recovery.
- The IRP details how the Province will lead and co-ordinate during the immediate response phase and articulates the roles, responsibilities and integration of the provincial government, its agencies, and partners.
- It is intended to be utilized by Emergency Management BC (EMBC), provincial ministries and Crown corporations, and also plans for the integration of federal government, local authorities and First Nations, critical infrastructure owners, bordering jurisdictions, and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the provincial-level response.
- Although the IRP has been developed for a catastrophic earthquake, it is designed to be flexible and scalable; therefore, it may also be used for other emergency events that have a significant impact to B.C.
- EMBC is responsible to British Columbians for leading the management of provincial level emergencies and disasters and supporting other authorities within their areas of jurisdiction.
- A large catastrophic earthquake that challenges a local government’s ability to respond would trigger EMBC’s responsibilities for co-ordinating a provincial-level response in co-operation with other stakeholders.
- In July 2015, the B.C. government announced a $1-million investment to help EMBC create and run the first ever provincially led large scale disaster exercise. Exercise Coastal Response is a full-scale major earthquake and tsunami exercise which will take place in the Port Alberni region from June 7-10, 2016. It will test elements of the B.C. Earthquake Immediate Response Plan.
- The funds will help the Province to cover deployment costs for the HUSAR team and Provincial Co-ordination Team, as well as the costs of staffing and carrying out the exercise.
- The focus of Exercise Coastal Response consists of:
- The initial notification process, warning and co-ordination following a catastrophic earthquake;
- A tsunami scenario affecting the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island, with the greatest damage in this scenario taking place along the western interior of the Island; and,
- Deployment of the Provincial Co-ordination Team, a cross-government group that can be activated to bring to support an authority in an emergency, and of Task Force 1, Vancouver’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) team to the Port Alberni area.
B.C. Earthquake and Tsunami Exercise
Exercise Coastal Response is Western Canada’s first, full-scale earthquake and tsunami response is a test of the BC Immediate Response Plan (IRP) that outlines the steps that the Province and its partners will undertake in the immediate aftermath of a massive earthquake. The goal is to exercise elements of the IRP and strengthen relationships among and across partners and stakeholders to enhance operational co-ordination. Learn more about Exercise Coastal Response