Monday, October 17, 2022

BC Government introduces new earthquake response strategy as BC ShakeOut week gets underway

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice
was releasing details of
a new provincial focus on
earthquake preparedness
The Third week of October traditionally hails the call for preparation for the next significant Seismic event in British Columbia and as BC residents prepare to practice their own Earthquake drills, the government is rolling out a new earthquake response strategy.

The initiative one that was introduced today by North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, who is also the Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness.

“We know areas of B.C. are at risk of earthquakes, and we need to ensure that we’re as prepared as possible, and that all partners will be unified and ready when it happens. Last year’s floods and wildfires were a reminder that disasters caused by natural hazards can happen at any time, and this strategy will build on the Province’s overall preparedness for all types of emergencies to keep people and communities safe.”

The new response planning will improve on the current regimen which dates back seven years. 

The Provincial Earthquake Immediate Response Strategy (PEIRS) will replace the Earthquake Immediate Response Plan, which was published in 2015. The new strategy incorporates the Province’s strengthened and evolving relationship with First Nations, and considers the disproportionate impact of emergencies on vulnerable populations. 

It also considers technology, service delivery strategies and priorities, and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and 2021 atmospheric rivers.

The new program will get a full on engagement in February of 2023, when the Province will hold a large-scale earthquake exercise to practice an integrated response with federal, First Nations and local governments, as well as critical infrastructure operators and non-governmental organizations. 

Exercise Coastal Response 2023 will be an opportunity to validate elements of the new strategy and reinforce the importance of cross-jurisdictional partnerships in emergency situations. 

The full announcement can be reviewed here.

Later this week, residents across the province can participate in the The Great British Columbia Shake Out, the annual practice run that is designed to create awareness and engage the public in preparation.

Hosted by the BC Earthquake Alliance, ot makes for an annual opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes. 

On Thursday, October 20, 2022, at 10:20 a.m., people throughout B.C. in schools, workplaces and public places will practice how to drop, cover and hold on.

More on the October 20th practice run for 10:20 AM can be reviewed here.

Some of the past reports of seismic events on the North Coast can be explored here.

Further notes on the work of Ms. Rice at the Legislature can be found from our archive page.

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