Ucluelet Travel Blog

A place for Ideas, Issues and Updates!

“Be part of our community’s conversation!”

The Mayor and Council elected for the 2014-2018 term are Mayor Dianne St. Jacques and Councillors Sally Mole, Randy Oliwa, Marilyn McEwen, and Mayco Noel.

11
Jan

How to prepare yourself for a west coast earthquake?

Posted by on

How to prepare yourself for a west coast earthquake?


In light of the recent earthquake activity on Vancouver Island, Tourism Ucluelet and the District of Ucluelet would like to provide information to visitors and remind residents in the area about how to be notified of a quake, how to proceed and where to go in town should another one occur. 

The earthquake last night was what is referred to as a strike slip fault and generally do not create tsunamis. However, IF a megathrust were to occur, these almost always generate a series of tsunamis. Mega thrusts earthquakes occur at subduction zones at destructive plate boundaries, where one tectonic plate is subducted by another.

What will you and your family do if another strike slip occurs or a megathrust earthquake occurs followed by a series of tsunamis? 

If a megathrust occurs:

The rule of thumb is 20 Meters in 20 Minutes.

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 family will then have approx. 20 minutes to get to high ground before the first tsunami wave hits the coastline. When the shaking stops and you have assembled your family and grabbed your emergency kit (s), proceed to Step 2.
*For guests in town, follow the evacuation plan that your accommodation providers have in place. If you are out on the beaches in the area or on the Wild Pacific Trail, leave and go to high ground. Emergency services will arrive to notify and evacuate areas at risk.

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)
7. Pacific Rim Visitor Centre at the junction

For residents of Ucluelet:

Public Safety Canada is the Federal department responsible for emergency preparedness emphasizes these three steps: 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 up to 7 days.

For guests visiting the area: 

Educate yourself about your providers plans and closest evacuation sites. Stop by the visitor centre for local information. Be informed, give yourself peace-of-mind while enjoying and exploring the west coast. 
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. 
To receive earthquake, tsunami, and other weather alert emails and SMS services, please see the links outlined below. 

• The UNESCO link https://lists.unesco.org/wws/info/tsunami-information-ioc subscribes you to receive earthquake/tsunami statements from the National Weather Service (NWS) National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) statement from Palmer Alaska and/or the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) statements from Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

• The US Geological Survey (USGS) link https://sslearthquake.usgs.gov/ens/will subscribe you to receive earthquake notifications. 

• Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC’s) linkhttp://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/ outlines a variety of emergency alerts through twitter, text and email services.

• The National Weather Service link http://www.weather.gov/subscribe has a variety of additional email and SMS weather alert services.

If you’re receiving these messages, please take your time, read the statements thoroughly, and look at the time sequence the statements were sent and not received. Please take the time to understand the differences between the 5 tsunami alert levels: warning, advisory, watch, information statement, and cancellation as this will determine your response. 

The Provincial department responsible for emergency preparedness in BC is Emergency Management BC (EMBC). During a possible tsunami event, EMBC reissues the National Weather Service (NWS) National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) statements with a BC-specific tsunami messages to local emergency personnel through the Provincial Emergency Notification System (PENS).

There are 5 tsunami zones for British Columbia. Ucluelet and Tofino are located in Zone C, which consists of the outer west coast from Cape Scott to Port Renfrew.

If you felt the M 4.8 quake on Jan 7, 2015, please share your experience at: 

• Natural Resources Canada -http://www.earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/concon-eng.php

• USGS - http://www.usgs.gov/faq/categories/9836/3131 

For more information about emergency preparedness and response, please visit EMBC’s http://www.embc.gov.bc.ca/index.htm and the District of Ucluelet’s (Emergency Services) websites.

Karla Robison, Environmental & Emergency Service Manager - District of Ucluelet
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 250-726-7744