20 Meters in 20 Minutes!

Did you feel the recent magnitude 4.8 earthquake off Tofino? It is another wake-up call to check how well we are prepared for a bigger disaster. Let’s start with the basics… Public Safety Canada is the Federal department responsible for emergency preparedness in Canada. This department emphasizes three steps to emergency preparedness: know the risks where you live, make a plan, and get a kit.

It should not be a secret to anyone living on the west coast that our highest impact risk is an earthquake and/or tsunami. Every household should have an emergency plan and basic supplies for a minimum of 72 hours. Since we ‘live on the edge’ we should have emergency supplies for up to 7 days!

Let’s talk about the worst case scenario and the reality that it could happen.

At an Emergency Forum on Mar 24, 2014 a Natural Resources Canada seismologist explained that there is a 1 in 3 chance that a magnitude 7 to 9 earthquake will occur in the next 50 years along the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

It is important to understand the two different types of earthquakes. The recent quake was a strike slip fault, which generally do not create tsunamis (these earthquakes happen quite frequently off our coast).

A megathrust earthquake is a different story… These earthquakes are known to almost always generate significant series of tsunamis, as the megathrust occurs at subduction zones at destructive plate boundaries, where one tectonic plate is subducted by another.

So, more importantly… what will you and your family do if a megathrust earthquake occurs followed by a series of tsunamis?

Step 1: Drop, Cover, and Hold On! The ground will shake for approx. 3 to 5 minutes; this is your tsunami siren! You and your families will then have approx. 20 minutes to get to high ground before the first tsunami wave hits the coastline. This is the why Ucluelet’s Emergency Coordinating Committee created the slogan, ’20 Meters in 20 Minutes’! When the shaking stops and you have assembled your family and grabbed your emergency kit (s), proceed to Step 2. Step 2: Evacuate to the closest community safe zone. In Ucluelet there are 6 community safe zones: 1. High School and Associated Fields – elev. is approx. 27 m/90 ft.

2. Reef Point High Points – elev. is approx. 27 m/90 ft.

3. Coast Guard Road High Points – elev. is approx. 24 m/80 ft. (parking lot in the forest) 4. Tugwell Fields – elev. is approx. 25 m/85 ft.

5. Hyphocus Island High Points – elev. is approx. 52 m/177 ft.

6. Millstream High Points – elev. is approx. 35 m/110 ft. (industrial area) After the danger has passed and local government authorities have informed you can leave higher ground proceed to Step 3. Step 3: Go to Ucluelet’s Secondary School for information and assistance. While travelling be aware of hazards such as downed power lines, debris, damaged roadways, unstable buildings, etc.

For additional links, see READINESS story on www.westerlynews.ca

Karla Robison is the Environmental Emergency Service Manager for the District of Ucluelet.

Just Posted

120 West Coast kids rock Bruhwiler Surf Classic in Tofino

“Surfing is a gift of this place.”

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island partners sign hull design contract for floating LNG project

Steelhead LNG and partner Huu-ay-aht First Nations say the agreement was signed in Barcelona

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Tofino pickleball club welcomes new players

Free drop-in activity runs three days a week and all the needed equipment is provided.

Fashion Fridays: Rock some animal print

Kim XO, lets you in on the latest fall fashion trends on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Feds launching review of oil tanker traffic in bid to renew pipeline approval

The feds have ordered the National Energy Board to bring recommendations on whether pipeline expansion should proceed

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

Most Read