How to survive disaster is a valuable lesson

Emergency preparedness is on people’s minds these days.

That seems to be evidenced by the popularity of the Strathcona Regional District’s emergency preparedness seminars last Thursday.

Emergency preparedness is on people’s minds these days.

That seems to be evidenced by the popularity of the Strathcona Regional District’s emergency preparedness seminars last Thursday.

More than 50 people attended the evening session held at the Campbell River Search and Rescue building in Willow Point and the morning session was just as full.

Seminar presenter Howie Siemens was happy to see people taking responsibility for emergency planning.

“Emergency planning is a shared responsibility,” Siemens said. “This is about you taking care of yourself as well.

“How do you become better prepared?”

The theme of the night was taking personal responsibility for your own survival in an emergency for the first few hours or days.

“If you’re well prepared, you may not have to depend on us in the first few hours and that would be a good thing,” Siemens said.

A good thing because there are 57 potential hazards facing British Columbia, although last week’s seminar focused on a handful of the largest and most likely events: earthquakes, fires, interface fires (forest fires encroaching on urban areas), tsunamis and severe weather.

Not surprisingly, given the devastating earthquake in Japan, the topic most on people’s minds is the threat of tsunami but there was reassuring news on that front.

“Our area, Campbell River, has a very low risk of a tsunami,” Siemens said.

Speculation about “big event” earthquakes refers to the west coast of Vancouver Island where two geological plates interact undersea.

An earthquake of magnitude 7 or larger raises the threat of a tsunami on the west coast of the Island. On the east coast of the Island, any tsunami will have been diminished by hitting the west coast and any residual wave will have had its force dissipated by distance and by the maze of islands in Johnstone Strait.

The biggest tsunami possibility would be caused by a “mechanical” wave generated by a segment of rock shifted by an earthquake on the mainland on the east coast of Georgia Strait.

How big that kind of wave would be is impossible to know at this stage, Siemens said.

But the threat of tsunami is low and emergency plans will more likely have to respond to the other hazards.

Emergency preparedness focuses on three steps that will get you through the first 72 hours of an event.

Those steps are:

Know the risks – Know the hazards your region faces; earthquakes in B.C., blizzards in Nunavut.

Make a plan – A plan will help you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency, including if family members are apart at the time of an event.

Get an emergency kit – Round up some basic supplies to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours and keep them in an easily-accessible backpack.

For more details on this topic visit Public Safety Canada’s website:; the Provincial Emergency Program’s website:; or contact Campbell River Emergency Social Services Team: campbellriveress@gmail.con or call 250-923-0359.

Just Posted

How do we solve the homelessness issue in Campbell River?

Candidates give their thoughts on the city’s role in reducing homelessness

Don’t let your guard down, fire chief says after two house fires in Willow Point

Two house fires in Willow Point have Campbell River’s fire chief reminding… Continue reading

Veteran hospice doctor credits Campbell River community for its thriving program

Dr. Deb Braithwaite spent 30 years working with Victoria Hospice Society

Cole Slaney leads the Campbell River Storm on and off the ice

“He’s always the last off the ice,” said Elizabeth Cudmore, the Campbell… Continue reading

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Most Read