Sidney Fire asking residents to prepare themselves

Self-sufficiency key in the event of emergency

About twice a week, members of the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department have been presenting to residents of large strata buildings about emergency preparedness, and on Tuesday night, they made a similar presentation at the Fire Hall, which was open to all.

About 20 attendees viewed a slide presentation from chief Brett Mikkelsen, which covered a range of potential threats to the Town and how likely they were to occur.

Mikkelsen said that the department had been circulating to all the large strata corporations because they were self-contained communities and they could address many people at once, but the department saw demand from individual homeowners, so the department aims to host public information sessions at least quarterly. The fire department did a similar presentation in September at the Nell Horth room, and they are considering a future event in the Greenglade neighbourhood. They also hold meetings upon request.

Mikkelsen said a weather event like a snowstorm is the most likely scenario residents should prepare for, but an earthquake would be more damaging.

“If you take steps towards preparedness for the most likely event, you’ll be better prepared for the worst case event,” said Mikkelsen.

Tsunami risk is actually low in Sidney, with no severe flooding expected due to Sidney’s location up the Haro Strait, but severe tidal action would likely affect marine infrastructure and moored vessels.

The west coast of Vancouver Island or Port Renfrew would be at greater risk.

Mikkelsen said that Sidney’s older population was a unique consideration, with over 37 per cent of the Town over the age of 65, and nearly 10 per cent of the town over the age of 85.

Emergency services would likely be overwhelmed with calls to Resthaven Lodge and other assisted living facilities where residents could not rescue themselves. With that in mind, Mikkelsen said: “If you can look after yourself, do.”

To Mikkelsen’s knowledge, they are the first area municipality to have all nursing homes sign a mutual aid agreement where if one home fails, others will step up to take residents in. This was initiated by Sidney Fire and has been tested twice, most recently in October where 30 to 40 “residents,” played by actors, were moved in a mock evacuation.

In the event of an earthquake, Mikkelsen said “duck and cover until the shaking stops.” Falling debris and broken glass is the most common cause of injury, so having shoes or slippers by the bedside is important. Mikkelsen also recommended securing heavy bookshelves to the wall.

Putting together a 72-hour kit to survive without any assistance is “not onerous, but remains a tough sell.”

Mikkelsen’s wife is in charge of emergency preparedness in their house, and they store their emergency kit in a wheeled garbage can. He recommended re-purposing a rolling suitcase, because if residents are asked to move to a safer location, it would be easier to wheel those supplies than to carry them by hand.

“If you get 20 people here, 20 people there, there’s 20 more people more likely to put together emergency kits and understand some of the risk.”



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Langford firefighters raise $1,065 for Burn Camp

B.C. firefighters and burn survivors raise $200,068 this year for Burn Camp

Victoria church to ring bells for 75th anniversary of atomic bombings

Bells expected at 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6 and 11:50 a.m. on Aug. 9

VicPD find used, uncapped needle tied to handrail in Beacon Hill Park

Officers believe the needle was put there with the intent to harm someone

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Most Read