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

Just Posted

Island Health, Victoria Hospice fund 15 more patient beds for end-of-life care at Royal Jubilee Hospital

New patient beds in hospice and acute palliative care to be in place by spring 2020

Police impound 19 vehicles for excessive speed on Malahat

Excessive speed is classified as going more than 40 km/h over the limit in that stretch

Beaches near Sidney’s Tsehum Harbour to receive first clean up in years

Peninsula Streams Society hopes to attract 50 volunteers for the Saturday event

Food truck pilot program in Saanich parks gets the green light from council

Pilot program will see food trucks permited in certain parks as early as next summer

‘Homespun’ brings six Greater Victoria artists together for genre-bending music

Highlands Music Coffee House returns Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by BB gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

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

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Chevron move to exit Kitimat LNG project a dash of ‘cold water’ for gas industry

Canada Energy Regulator approved a 40-year licence to export natural gas for Kitimat LNG

Most Read