City of Victoria conducts earthquake response simulation, preparing for the ‘big one’


WATCH: According to experts it’s only a matter of time before “the big one hits” us here on Vancouver Island and the B.C. coast. The last devastating earthquake to hit the Island was 72 years ago. And that’s why the city of Victoria’s emergency response team held a disaster drill today, to make sure they’re ready. Luisa Alvarez takes a look.

In 2018 alone we’ve had fourteen minor earthquakes and while none of them caused any significant damage the next one could.

“We know that there is a 1 in 3 chance of a damaging earthquake occurring in Victoria in the next 50 years,” said Tanya Patterson Emergency Program coordinator for the City of Victoria.

And part of being prepared for when that day comes in knowing exactly what to do. Which is why Sunday an exercise dispatch call went out to volunteers claiming there had been a 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

Once that call went out the Victoria emergency response team initialized and responded as if that earthquake really did happen.

Around sixty volunteers came out, that included the cyclist response team, and search and rescue dogs.

Everything that would be used in an event of an emergency was checked and used including the drone.

“if there was an earthquake we could use it for damage assessment so we could quickly fly over the city and get a quick assessment of where we need to focus our efforts,” said Patterson.

The emergency management agency trucks were fully loaded with supplies to set up an emergency management center at the James Bay community there, the goal was to engage the public.

“If you know the scenarios and you know what to do it’s just easier,” said Kayden Cerice who participated in the exercise with her family.

Patterson says its especially important because in a disaster scenario there won’t be enough first responders to go around.

“We really want to encourage personal preparedness, preparing yourself and your family and neighborhood preparedness, talking to your neighbours and figuring out how you can work together during an emergency,” said Patterson.

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Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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