VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 17, 2012) - The Honourable Vic Toews, Canada's Public Safety Minister, the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and Gregor Robertson, Mayor of the City of Vancouver, today welcomed the beginning of three days of emergency management exercises designed to keep British Columbians safe and secure in the event of natural disasters.
Their comments came on the eve of the Great British Columbia ShakeOut, a province-wide "Drop, Cover and Hold On" drill to be held October 18; TUMBLING DICE, a City of Vancouver full-scale and tabletop management exercise taking place October 18 and 19 respectively and MAGNITUDE 2012, a joint federal/provincial/municipal and private sector exercise, based on a major earthquake scenario, which will unfold October 18-21.
"Keeping Canadians safe is a responsibility shared by all levels of government, first responders, communities, and individual citizens," said Minister Toews. "I am very pleased that British Columbians will take this opportunity to participate in drills and learn more about emergency preparedness, including valuable skills that will help them in emergency situations."
"It is critical to practice emergency response plans to ensure that in the event they need to be implemented everyone is confident about the job they need to do," said Shirley Bond, BC's Minister of Justice and Attorney General. "We also help to assist local authorities and the general public with their preparedness plans by providing educational materials and training. The Province regularly exercises its emergency plans for all hazards to ensure we are prepared for any event. B.C. provides education and training materials on emergency planning and preparedness to local governments and the general public."
"Citizen preparedness is a crucial factor to saving lives and preventing injuries in the event of a major emergency or natural disaster," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "These exercises are an important opportunity for citizens to learn about emergency preparedness and how to best keep themselves and their families safe and secure, especially in the early hours of any disaster."
British Columbia's coastal regions sit atop active faults, or "plates", that are constantly moving relative to one another at speeds between two and 10 cm/year. The plates can either slide past one another, or they can collide, or they can diverge. The west coast of Canada is one of the few areas in the world where all three of these types of plate movements take place, resulting in significant earthquake activity.
- To learn more about how to prepare yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours during an emergency, visit: www.getprepared.ca.
- Follow Public Safety Canada (@Safety_Canada) on Twitter.
- To learn more about the Great British Columbia ShakeOut, or to join the thousands of people who will "Drop, Cover and Hold On" on October 18, 2012, at 10:18 a.m. Pacific, visit: www.shakeoutbc.ca.
- Join BC's emergency alerting and awareness program online at www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca or follow us on twitter (@emergencyinfobc)