To make the regional portion of Emergency Management BC’s $1.2-million earthquake exercise – taking place in Port Alberni from June 7-10, 2016 – as real as possible, the Province is relying on the time and donations of many businesses and volunteers to help deliver Exercise Coastal Response, B.C.’s first ever, full-scale earthquake and tsunami response exercise throughout the entire provincial landscape.
Specially trained volunteers from agencies such as the Canadian Red Cross, The Salvation Army and the Cowichan Valley Amateur Radio Society are on hand, in addition to the Emergency Social Service volunteers and other Public Safety Lifeline volunteers who are vital to the Province’s emergency response and recovery.
To make the on-site experiences of the participants as authentic as possible, volunteers will be onsite as actors attending to play:
- Medical patients – Working with first responders and 90 Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) team members, these volunteers are treated to a medical makeover with movie-quality makeup artists and given a patient-care script to follow during the course of treatment.
- Emergency social service (ESS) clients – These volunteers work with ESS teams located at reception and housing centres and represent those in need of shelter, food, water emotional support, family reunification and information on the crisis.
These volunteer-actors include 160 staff and students from School District 70, while Vancouver’s SFX Studios will provide medical make-up for the actors. SFX Studios creates the make-up for Life in the ER and other television programs: http://sfxstudio.com/home.html
Value Village in Victoria has donated approximately 150 outfits for volunteers to wear as costumes so HUSAR and Emergency Medical Technicians can carry out realistic scenarios on the volunteers.
At the end of the exercise, all volunteers will receive a letter of recognition for their role in helping to better prepare British Columbia for a catastrophic disaster.
Exercise Coastal Response has brought 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 British Columbia. 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.
During the same timeframe, neighbouring states and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 10 are conducting an exercise called Cascadia Rising 2016. As well, Canadian federal departments involved in earthquake response will be conducting Exercise Pacific Quake and Exercise Staunch Maple.
Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto –
“Our province leads the nation in earthquake preparedness, and we have extensive emergency response plans in place, but these plans need to be tested, revised and improved. The Province is working closely with First Nations and local authority partners, as well as countless volunteers who have lent their time and energy to help show how B.C. will support a coastal community in the event of a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.”
School District 70 volunteer coordinator for Exercise Coastal Response Terri-Ann Wynans –
“This earthquake and tsunami response exercise is a great opportunity to get our students involved in helping to prepare the province for an emergency, and expose them to the services available should a real disaster strike. Our school district and all of our volunteers are excited to see how the exercise unfolds.”
Victoria Value Village manager Jeffrey Stonehouse –
“Our Value Village team is so thankful for all the volunteers that dedicated their time to bring the Coastal Response exercise to life. It is an incredible undertaking to make sure our communities are prepared in disaster emergency situations and we were proud to play a small role in the effort.”
Exercise Coastal Response
- Exercise Coastal Response is based on a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurring off the shore of Southwestern B.C. as a result of a rupture of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The earthquake scenario will generate a tsunami impacting the west coast of Vancouver Island minutes after the initial shock.
- The exercise brings 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, non-government organizations and first responders.
- The exercise is 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 Pacific Quake
- Exercise Pacific Quake is a Canadian federal government earthquake exercise. Federal exercise play will include the local federal co-ordination departments who have a presence in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, such as Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, and will extend to the Government Operations Centre in Ottawa.
Exercise Staunch Maple
- The Joint Task Force Pacific, the lead Canadian military formation in B.C., have a range of activities planned, some of which are linked to Exercise Coastal Response activities located along the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Exercise Cascadia Rising
- Led by Northwest United States FEMA Region 10, this exercise includes municipalities and counties in the Western half of Washington and Oregon, as well as parts of Idaho.
Exercise Coastal Response: https://news.gov.bc.ca/stories/exercise-coastal-response-2016
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