Natural Resources Canada seismologist Alison Bird will present ‘Earthquakes and Campbell River’ on Oct. 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Thunderbird Hall. The event is free and pre-registration is not required. Black Press File Photo

Earthquake session to focus on Campbell River region

As part of this year’s Disaster Preparedness Tradeshow, organizers have added a special presentation

As an additional bonus during this year’s annual Disaster Preparedness Tradeshow weekend at Thunderbird Hall, the organizers have invited seismologist Alison Bird from Natural Resources Canada to tell the community what they can expect should a major seismic event happen here – again.

“She, in my view, is a legend,” says protective services coordinator for the Strathcona Regional District Shaun Koopman says. “She’s one of my personal heroes. I’m so stoked to hear her talk, because she gives such great public presentations that are really keyed into the local area she’s speaking to, so this one will be focused on the Campbell River and Mid-Island area.”

Koopman says that while the mid-Island is one of the most seismically active regions in Canada, many people still don’t have a good sense of what a major seismic event would look like – or how they should prepare for one. In fact, many people don’t even know that the region experienced a 7.3 magnitude quake as recently as 1946, Koopman says.

That’s where Bird will come in.

“What are the faults around here? What would an earthquake mean for the area? What would it look like if the same 1946 earthquake went off today in Campbell River?

“Those are the types of things she’s going to talk about,” Koopman says. “It won’t be a general ‘this is what earthquakes do,’ kind of presentation. It will be very specific to the area, which I think is important for people to see.”

The event, which will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Thunderbird Hall, is free to the public and no pre-registration is required.

The event will cap off the second day of a three-day conference workshop being hosted by North Island Emergency Preparedness, for which anyone involved in emergency planning is invited to register.

“It has evolved from what used to be an Emergency Social Servces Director workshop to something that is for anybody that has an emergency planning or leadership role in their organization,” Koopman says.

Workshop organizer Rick Wall says the weekend will be a great opportunity to learn more about how to best prepare your team.

“This will be an excellent opportunity for ESS directors from the North Island to get to get together – new ones and old ones – to get together, look at best practices and do some networking,” Wall says.

Bird will also highlight the conference as keynote speaker, Wall says, “to serve as the backdrop for the discussions we’ll be having, which will challenge people to really consider whether their team is ready for everything we’ll be looking at in the event of an earthquake.”

Other speakers will include Jesikah Post from Emergency Management BC who will speak on social media use and other communications strategies for emergency responders and teams, along with Hether Ferguson of the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team, Amanda Glickman of the SRD Emergency Communication Program and David Carson, emergency planner with Land Forest People Consulting.

Registration for the full workshop/conference is $30, which includes lunch and snacks. Register by contacting Wall at richard.wall@shaw.ca or 250-923-3649.

You don’t need to register to take advantage of the tradeshow itself, however. On Friday, Oct. 26, the hall will be transformed into a mall-like experience full of booths featuring organizations who want to help you be more prepared for an emergency.

Whether you’re looking to get involved volunteering with one of these great organizations or looking for supplies to help you stock your emergency kits, there will be something for everyone.

“One of the most common pieces of feedback I received from the public after last year’s event was that they wished there were more booths where they could actually purchase items,” Koopman says, “so this year I’d say about half the vendors will be supplying that, and they won’t all just be selling general emergency kits.”

For more on the tradeshow or the Alison Bird presentation, contact Koopman at skoopman@srd.ca or 250-830-6702.