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Earthquake and Emergency Preparedness in BC

posted on 11:46 AM, February 17, 2017
Interdepartmental and intergovernmental exercise on earthquake and tsunami response, 2016. credit: Province of British Columbia (flickrCC)

“Studies suggest that BC has a one-in-three chance of a strong, damaging earthquake in the next 50 years… These earthquakes are often accompanied by tsunamis large enough to devastate coastal communities,” writes Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto. This is the context for earthquake preparedness work undertaken by Province-led Emergency Management BC (EMBC).

To respond to a catastrophic earthquake, the Province will follow the direction of the BC Earthquake Immediate Response Plan (IRP). “The IRP lays out the roles of the Province, cabinet ministers, local authorities and First Nations, the federal government, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, utility companies, and the private sector. It helps EMBC hone its plans with partners like Vancouver’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue task force, multiple levels of government, international jurisdictions, and first responders,” notes Yamamoto.

Download Fall 2016

Beyond the IRP, EMBC runs full-scale earthquake and tsumani response exercises, such as the one undertaken in 2016 in Ucluelet, and is working on seismic safety upgrades and the development of the BC Earthquake Sustained Response Plan. Read more in “Preparing BC for a Safer Tomorrow” in the Fall 2016 issue of Input, page 18.

More information about emergency preparedness in BC

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