The City of Victoria conducted an emergency exercise Sunday, with volunteers and their pets gathering at James Bay Community Centre to simulate a response to a hypothetical 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
The run-through Nov. 18 involved setting up an emergency reception centre to give the Victoria Red Cross Emergency Social Services (ESS) team an opportunity to practise their skills and for volunteer evacuees to get an understanding of how a centre works and what it provides in an emergency. South Island Pets Team were on-hand to help out with dogs and cats.
“We set up a reception centre here for the public to have an experience of what it might be like if they had to evacuate their homes after an earthquake. These are locations for people who don’t have any other shelter or means to look after themselves,” said Tanya Patterson, Emergency Program coordinator, City of Victoria.
The Victoria Red Cross ESS team is a partnership between the City and Canadian Red Cross that provides services to people impacted by emergencies during the initial 72 hours of an emergency response, through to the recovery phase.
Part of those services are accessed by way of an emergency reception centre, which is a place for those displaced by an emergency to get meals, clothing and toiletries, temporary lodging, help in re-uniting with loved ones, and information updates.
“We hope all the time that it will not happen, but we are a little bit more prepared than when we first came,” said volunteer Ikhlass Bedoui.
Indro Robotics and Industry Drones were also involved in the event, running through drone exercises with firefighters. Drones can assist emergency personnel during disasters, giving them aerial views of areas where access might be dangerous or difficult.
For more emergency planning resources see the City of Victoria website. Also, sign up for Vic-Alert, the City of Victoria’s new emergency notification service that informs you by text, phone and email of major emergencies or disasters that may impact Victoria.
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