Sidney Fire asking residents to prepare themselves

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

Landis Carmichael is the Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the Emergency Services Award winner. (Photo courtesy Landis Carmichael)
29-year-old firefighter has spent almost half his life with Langford department

Landis Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Emergency Services Award

Shannon Davis, manager at Sidney’s Star Cinema, holds up the largest available bag of popcorn available for sale at the theatre. It also also sells four smaller sizes in generating revenue following its closure last fall because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney theatre fills bottom line with popcorn sales

Theatre applying to return to doing our household-only private rentals

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday morning due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry sailing cancelled due to high winds, sea state

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

The construction zone remains for now at Clover Point, but plans for a new pedestrian zone and partially closed traffic loop were approved by Victoria councillors on Thursday. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria council compromises with partial closure of Clover Point

Option preserves parking 14 spots facing ocean, creates more pedestrian space

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Most Read