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Earthquake, tsunami preparedness tour comes to Victoria’s Royal Jubilee

The tour will include a ShakeOut interactive display and tsunami preparedness education

A Quake Cottage simulator will prepare people in Greater Victoria to get ready if a significant earthquake or tsunami hits the area.

“B.C. is a seismically active area, and we want to increase awareness,” said Christine Buttkus, executive director of the B.C. Earthquake Alliance.

If emergency services cannot reach you, a grab-and-go bag lasting seven to 14 days will be needed in a significant earthquake event, said Buttkus.

“The earthquake simulator is an unforgettable educational experience that we’re grateful to be able to bring to potentially vulnerable communities,” said Naomi Yamamoto, B.C. Earthquake Alliance board chair.

Yamamoto said it is critical to inform vulnerable communities along the Vancouver Island coast to prepare for a tsunami and an earthquake.

The Earthquake Preparedness Tour visited Royal Jubilee Hospital on April 10, hoping to engage locals in what to do when an earthquake occurs in Victoria. Tsunami Preparedness Week is April 14 to 20.

The hospital tour provides earthquake training for medical staff, said Ryan Kuhn, Director of Health Emergency Management.

“There might be infrastructure damage, so we are learning to communicate between the different hospitals,” said Kuhn.

“People in coastal communities need to be ready in case we see one large enough to cause a tsunami,” B.C.’s Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma said in a news release.

The tour will include a ShakeOut interactive display, tsunami preparedness education activities and local community support.

The chance that southwest B.C. will experience a significant earthquake over 6.1 on the Richter scale is 30 per cent, according to Aaron Sutherland, vice-president of Pacific & Western, Insurance Bureau of Canada.

“It’s not a question of if but when,” Sutherland said.

Thousands of small earthquakes are felt throughout B.C. each year, and remote, rural areas may need access to the same resources as larger cities and towns.

“It will help fill the gaps and ensure we are all better prepared for natural disasters,” said Josie Osborne, MLA for the Mid-Island-Pacific Rim.

The tour will visit Port Alberni, Tofino, Ucluelet, Ehattesaht and Delta.

More stops are planned throughout the year, but destinations have yet to be announced.

Buttkus said the most important lesson that people can walk away from the Earthquake Preparedness Tour is to remember to drop cover and hold.

“It is the most effective response,” said Buttkius. “We recommend a sturdy piece of furniture and to avoid doorways.”

To learn more about earthquake preparedness and the B.C. Earthquake Alliance, please visit

READ MORE: B.C. gets ready for annual ShakeOut earthquake drill

About the Author: Thomas Eley

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