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Emergency Preparedness - are you ready?


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#21 Holden West

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 01:04 PM

If you live on Tolmie Avenue and your apartment building falls over onto the Saanich border, who do you call?
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#22 Rob Randall

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 05:55 PM

FYI:

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS SEMINAR
What hazards should we be concerned about in Victoria?

What can you do to be better prepared for emergencies and disasters?

Come out to this 2 hour session & learn more.

Date: September 22, 2008
Time: 6:45 PM to 8:45PM
Where: Burnside-Gorge Community Centre
471 Cecelia Rd.
(Cecelia and Napier)

No cost.

Contact the Victoria Emergency Management Agency to register.
Phone: 920-3373
E-mail: vema@victoria.ca
Website : preparevictoria.ca


“I mean I just don’t understand the big Texas part, like maybe he’s from Texas? I want to know the back story.”


#23 Holden West

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 09:59 PM

If the water mains all fail after the quake, I want to be able to drive across the bridge to head up to the Sooke reservior to get my drinking water. God forbid if I have to fetch water from Swan Lake, or Goodacre Lake. Maybe I could get water from that watering can in Beacon Hill Park, they got that thing fixed yet?

Or I could go chop ice across the street at Save-On Centre.

All joking aside, we have two huge hot water tanks in the basement, if no one bathes with that water (and they couldn't, with no water pressure IN), our building probably is pretty good for a day or two as long as their is a drain spiget on those suckers.

Remember the rule of threes in an emergency, you can go:

3 minutes without air
3 days without water
3 weeks without food


People are always concerned about food but without water there's no point. That's why if you're lost in the woods you shouldn't eat until you find drinkable water because digestion consumes valuable water.

What about Summit Park off Cook Street? That's a huge reservoir.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#24 Holden West

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 10:02 PM

If our fine Mayor and Council are so concerned about our well-being after the quake of the millenium, perhaps the most cost-effective thing for them to do would be to issue earthquake kits to every Victoria household in perpetuity. Surely that would cost less than a million dollars.


"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#25 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 10:08 PM

Also, if people are dying from lack of water, you can always eat them. Well, better wait until they are dead first, to avoid legal problems later.

I really can't see any scenario in our current society, where we will not be OK AFTER the quake, if we survive the quake relatively uninjured. US and Canadian government forces will bring us food and water quick enough, we'll find temporary shelter, it's not like weather is an aggravating factor (ie we will not all die in unheated homes while we wait 3 weeks for power to be restored). But if it's really bad, people might still die awaiting rescue from under the rubble. But I bet we might even get that half-right. 25M Canadians will be clear of the impact and will come, won't they?

#26 AllseeingEye

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:29 AM

Lots of assumptions there VHF; for openers which Canadian "government forces" are you alluding to? The nearest army units are based in Edmonton; in a very large quake assume for the purposes of this discussion that the runways at Victoria airport are unusable. Virtually 100% of our (very) limited military helicopter heavy lift capability is currently stationed in Afghanistan.

If the quake zone is widespread I think we can safely presume US "government forces" - and there a lot less of them than there used to be since US military doctrine has for some time emphasized cheaper technology solutions over "boots on the ground" - will be preoccupied helping their own citizens. Assisting Canadians will be way down their list of priorities.

Not sure either about the weather either: who is to say the Big One doesn't occur in the middle of winter? Even in a typically mild Victoria winter if you are stuck under a pile of rubble without adequate survival gear, see how comfortable you are in minus 2 or 3 degrees. Given all the old brick and masonry buildings in Victoria - most woefully unprepared for a large earthquake - it is a stretch IMO to assume you will be uninjured, unless by very happy circumstance you are standing in the middle of an open field when it occurs. Therefore add a serious injury involving significant blood loss, shock due to broken bones or internal injuries. Minus 3 will kill you just as surely as -40.

What about local emergency services? Well assume the bridges are down, roads unusable, gas lines are ruptured and fires are breaking out all over the CRD. Assume too among the dead and injured are some of those very same emergency personnel you'd rely on to "dig you out". How many emergency rooms do you think we have in Victoria? ER doctors and nurses (assuming they too survive the actual Event)? Not nearly enough to meet demand in the event of hundreds or thousands of seriously injured people all clamoring for aid all at the same time.

Personally I have a survival kit with enough provisions, food, and water to ensure I can get by on my own for at least 5 days. Assuming a "perfect storm" of post-Big Quake conditions I think the very bare minimum you need to be prepared to fend for yourself is 72 hours. A week would be optimal.

#27 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 10:06 AM

If I'm not mistaken, even large earthquakes are not very widespread.

In Hurricane Katrina, most all of the deaths occurred in the very elderly, and in the first 24 hours, as a direct result of contact with the floodwaters.

I think we'd be OK, again, for those able-bodied people that survive the initial impact.

I expect ZERO from local first-responders, but I know that myself and 95% of others would form citizen brigades to go door-to-door looking for trapped victims. Once found and extracted, I think that we'd find places safe from the weather to house people.

Also, when was the last time a big quake hit a first-world city and caused widespread damage? I think NEVER is the answer.

#28 Caramia

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 10:57 AM

From the Natalie Merchant's song, San Andreas Fault
Seems appropriate:

San Andreas Fault
moved its fingers
through the ground
earth divided
plates collided
such an awful sound

San Andreas Fault
moved its fingers
through the ground
terra cotta shattered
and the walls came
tumbling down

o promised land
o wicked ground
build a dream
tear it down
o promised land
what a wicked ground
build a dream
watch it all fall down


Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#29 mat

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 11:08 AM

Also, when was the last time a big quake hit a first-world city and caused widespread damage? I think NEVER is the answer.


Mexico City in the '80's comes to mind - basically destroyed large areas of the city. Not sure if that is a '1st' world city, but it's close.

#30 piltdownman

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:52 PM

Kinda off topic. A few years ago I was in the gulf islands and the snow knocked out the power where I was staying for a week. I didn't eat very well for those days, had to wear about ten layers at all times to keep warm but I easily got through it. The worst part of the whole ordeal was the phone lines also went out and I was alone in a somewhat remote area. Being a social person it made me a little bit crazy. That and boredom. You can only get so much entertainment from maths textbooks (I was a student at the time).

From that experience I would imagine that most people here would do fine if the grid broke down. As VHF said I would expect people to help one another, although while I expect enough would, I think 95% is a little high.

An interesting side note is, I can't get into either my office or my condo without an electronic card/dongle. While its easy enough to just smash a window to get in, that would greatly impact the heat seal and security of the building. I guess in a large earthquake I should expect windows to break in even modern buildings anyways so its a moot point. Just an odd oversight.

#31 Bernard

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 01:54 PM

Also, when was the last time a big quake hit a first-world city and caused widespread damage? I think NEVER is the answer.


By major ones in which there was significant loss of life and major property damage

San Francisco 1906 - 300 dead and 1989 - 63 dead
Kobe 1995 - 6500 dead
Anchorage 1964 - 125 deaths in a region with almost no people
Sanriku 1933 - 3000 dead
Great Kanto earthquake 1923 - 150 000
Napier Bay NZ 1931 - 258 dead and the city flattened, a small town

These are first world earthquakes around the pacific rim in just over the last 100 years with major damage and loss of life.

The odds of a major earthquake hitting Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the North American coast from Alaska to California and causing a lot of damage to a city is relatively high, about once every ten to fifteen years.

There are a number of earthquakes that did moderate damage and killed a few people - Northridge in 1989 as an example or the 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake.

Italy and Greece have both suffered a number of significant earthquakes in the last 100 years, though your call if they would be first world.

This region is significantly at risk of seeing a major earthquake once every couple of generations, it has been 63 years since the last large one around here.

#32 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 02:27 PM

OK, what I meant was when was the last time a major earthquake hit a major first-world city and people died days after the quake due to exposure, disease, dehydration etc. Never.

#33 victorian fan

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 03:04 PM



Port Alberni 1946 M7.3

#34 AllseeingEye

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 03:11 PM

"Never" is a subjective term: care to bet your life on it NEVER happening here? Or more to the point, the lives of your loved ones? Your children? I don't.

And while it is laudable indeed to suppose "95%" of the survivors will be forming citizen brigades I will posit another scenario for you, and will for this purpose presume you don't have kids - since I can tell you with lead pipe certainty that 95% of the people I know will have one thought and only one thought - where is my kid? I can be counted among that group. And then, where is my partner? And then we'll be looking to ensure the safety of the rest of her immediate family, and mine. In that order.

With all respect I certainly won't be gallivanting around Esquimalt or View Royal or Fairfield without knowing first knowing the fate of my 11 year old daughter. Sorry - not going to happen.

Only when I'm satisfied she and they are either safe or dead and thus beyond aid - frankly - will I be worrying much about others. That, IMO, is a much more realistic scenario and outcome of a major regional disaster. It's called Human Nature.

#35 Mike K.

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 04:08 PM

"Never" is a subjective term: care to bet your life on it NEVER happening here? Or more to the point, the lives of your loved ones? Your children? I don't.

And while it is laudable indeed to suppose "95%" of the survivors will be forming citizen brigades I will posit another scenario for you, and will for this purpose presume you don't have kids - since I can tell you with lead pipe certainty that 95% of the people I know will have one thought and only one thought - where is my kid? I can be counted among that group. And then, where is my partner? And then we'll be looking to ensure the safety of the rest of her immediate family, and mine. In that order.

With all respect I certainly won't be gallivanting around Esquimalt or View Royal or Fairfield without knowing first knowing the fate of my 11 year old daughter. Sorry - not going to happen.

Only when I'm satisfied she and they are either safe or dead and thus beyond aid - frankly - will I be worrying much about others. That, IMO, is a much more realistic scenario and outcome of a major regional disaster. It's called Human Nature.


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#36 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 04:11 PM

True, I have no spouse, no kids, no room-mates. I'm my own rescue brigade.

#37 davek

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:04 PM

My family prepares so that if a disaster occurs we won't have to spend much time organizing to keep ourselves warm, dry, and fed, and can get right to lending a hand to people who might be badly in need of it.

#38 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:37 PM

True, I have no spouse, no kids, no room-mates. I'm my own rescue brigade.


10,000 died in the '85 Mexico quake.

Sounds like less than 250 would die in a similar sized quake here.

#39 Sparky

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 11:13 PM

Well, now that we have all of that crap off our chests, let's focus on what is really going to happen.....instead of what hasn't happened.

What we are talking about here is disaster planning, not just earthquake planning....they are one in the same. Either you have it or you don't. Simple.

In the winter of 96 our governments (note the plural here) may have had plans.....but in all fairness they did not have the 24/7 paid employees in place at the time to implement them. If PEP has improved their service since then?......they have not kept me informed. I get more updates from the Harland Landfill on recent improvements than I do from the entire rest of our elected representatives.

Instead what really happened in 96 was that a dedicated C-FAX employee slogged his way to work through the snow (which grew worse as the days followed) and unknowingly at the time, established a command centre. If my memory serves me correctly, he spent days cooped up in the control booth stick handling everything from roof maintenance to childbirth.

So VHF is correct. We can't stand on the porch and wait for Superman to fall from the sky. Our strength lies within our ourselves and our neighbours.

My hat goes off to the radio announcer. Who among us remembers his name? Skill testing question.

#40 AllseeingEye

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 12:29 AM

Re-read my post: is that not precisely what I said re: waiting around for "Superman"? While you're at it son....why don't you take the chip off your shoulder?

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