Three weeks ahead of British Columbia’s first full-scale major earthquake exercise in Port Alberni, MLAs are getting an opportunity to experience what “The Big One” might feel like.
Today, Emergency Management BC, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) offered MLAs and local media the opportunity to participate in an earthquake simulator. The “Shake Zone” provides a sense of the impact a high-magnitude earthquake could have in our Province’s coastal communities.
The Shake Zone has toured through several lower mainland communities over the last two weeks, and now it will visit communities in Greater Victoria, mid-Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast so British Columbians in areas of earthquakes risk can better understand the importance of being prepared. The last stop is on June 7, 2016, the same day the B.C. government is launching the $1.2-million Exercise Coastal Response.
In Port Alberni from June 7-10, 2016, Exercise Coastal Response, the province’s first full-scale earthquake drill, will bring together stakeholders from all levels of government, as well as Emergency Management BC staff, First Nations, Crown Corporations, critical infrastructure owners and non-government organizations involved in provincial-level response to model how they would collaboratively work to respond to the impacts of a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami along coastal B.C. It tests the procedures set out in the BC Earthquake Immediate Response Plan and promotes interagency co-operation among internal and external agencies that support emergency response.
Exercise Coastal Response is being planned together with federally led exercises Staunch Maple and Pacific Quake and coincides with the timing of Exercise Cascadia Rising led by FEMA in the United States.
Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto –
“Although the earthquake simulation we experienced today is in a controlled, safe environment, it helps to illustrate why we, as a government, are investing so much into the Coastal Response Exercise and into emergency preparedness as a whole to help protect the communities of B.C. and each and every British Columbian.”
Province’s Seismic Accomplishments
- Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure:
- Over $4 billion in bridge and large highway seismic retrofits
- Emergency Management BC:
- Hosting the $1.2 million provincial-level catastrophic exercise with partners
- $95,000 invested in improvements to the provincial emergency notification system
- $200,000 per year in funding to Vancouver’s HUSAR and $50,000 to Ocean Networks to gather data sets related to tsunami mapping and earthquake monitoring
- $5 million to Ocean Networks Canada to increase the development and use of earthquake early warning systems
- Ministry of Health:
- $3.9 billion of new construction and upgrades in high risk seismic zones
- $2.9 billion for capital projects throughout the province over the next three years – with all new construction built to current seismic standards
- Ministry of Education:
- $1.12 billion to replace or upgrade 153 schools
- $560 million over the next three years for upgrades on high risk seismic schools
Exercise Coastal Response
- Hosted in Port Alberni, Exercise Coastal Response is based on a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hitting off the shore of Southwestern B.C. as a result of a rupture of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The earthquake will generate a tsunami impacting the west coast of Vancouver Island minutes after the initial shock.
- The exercise will bring together some key stakeholder groups such as different levels of government, various jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S., and a number of provincial ministries, First Nations, Crown corporations and first responders.
- The exercise will be a mix of real-time activities and simulated situations involving functions such as emergency operations, logistics, medical care, mass care, public information and operational communications.
Exercise Coastal Response: http://ow.ly/7e6o300baWH
BC Earthquake Immediate Response Plan: http://ow.ly/4nrclv
Basic emergency kit supplies: http://ow.ly/4nrcp3
Household preparedness and neighbourhood preparedness guides: http://ow.ly/4nrcso
Prepare Your Pets Guide: http://ow.ly/4nrcwG
Emergency Info BC, B.C.’s official channel for emergency alerts: http://ow.ly/WCDbj
Insurance Bureau of Canada emergency preparedness resources: http://www.ibc.ca/bc/disaster/emergency-preparedness
IBC Shake Zone tour schedule: http://ow.ly/4nsX6O