Erin Stockill, Saanich Emergency Program Specialist, and Saanich Fire Department’s Emergency Program Officer, Capt. Maegan Thompson, are screening Disaster Wars: Earthquake vs. Tsunami, April 11, 7 p.m. in the Cinecenta at UVic. The screening is free to attend. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Disaster of a movie stokes tsunami preparedness week

Saanich Emergency Prep crew to screen Disaster Wars as part of Tsunami Week

It’s so bad, the organizers screening the film Disaster Wars: Earthquake vs. Tsunami couldn’t think of charging a ticket fee.

At 7 p.m. on April 11 in the Cinecenta of UVic’s Student Union Building, history will be made when Saanich’s Emergency Program screens the film Disaster Wars not as a source of entertainment, but as a source of education. The movie offers an opportunity as a vehicle to point out exactly what to do in case of a real life tsunami, or earthquake, said Saanich Fire Department’s Emergency Program Officer, Capt. Maegan Thompson.

“We’ve managed to whittle the movie down to 36 minutes to retain ‘the plot,’” Thompson said. “Our work is very serious and dry, we don’t joke around too much but we are going to have a bit of fun on April 11.”

Thompson will be joined by Teron Moore, safety program manager from Ocean Networks Canada in providing commentary throughout the clips about local tsunami risk, earthquake safety, the importance of preparedness and information related to emergency management.

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island overdue for the big one

They’ll use a pause-and-play method of stopping at key points in the movie to share emergency preparedness information with the audience. Most stops are brief, just a minute or two long, Thompson said.

Guests Catherine Leith, Commanding Officer of port operations and emergency operation services and Ian Foss, the Vancouver Island regional manager of emergency management. The screening comes in the middle of Tsunami Preparedness Week, April 7 to 13.

The idea is inspired by a Lower Mainland event where a seismologist paused-played, with commentary, the 2015 movie San Andreas starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. It’s another earthquake movie that’s actually better, Thompson said.

READ ALSO: Tsunami not expected for B.C. after largest earthquake to strike U.S. in 2019

“Disaster Wars is far fetched, so have a lot of information to share around protective measures,” Thompson said. “We don’t want to scare anyone or invoke any fear, this is an approachable subject matter for us.”

The event is an approachable and fun way to learn important information for ages 14 years and older, she said.

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