Plan E – Emergency Preparedness

As residents of coastal BC, we know that this beautiful place is situated along a major geological fault line. While it can be a human tendency to avoid considering the implications of this reality, our ability to mitigate the damage and trauma resulting from a major earthquake depends on how well-prepared we are as families, schools and communities.

We have been focusing on the school’s preparation for the past several months with a view to further equipping ourselves to care for a large number of students for at least 72 hours. As a secondary staff, we have begun a series of Pro-D mornings that focus on the various aspects of emergency response, and we will continue these training sessions throughout the year. We are very thankful to Mr Neil Mossie for capably coordinating our efforts. We also recognize that it is completely unpredictable when an emergency (earthquake or otherwise) may strike and who will be on site and able to function, so it is vital that all staff be very familiar with procedures and well-equipped to assist in all aspects of student care.

We have a growing collection of emergency supplies organized and stored in the shipping container at the south end of the parking lot. These include extensive first aid supplies, blankets and toques for warmth, tarps and equipment to build shelters, tools and safety equipment for search & rescue, as wells as generators, propane stoves, large pots, water, and cooking utensils. We are in the process of adding long-shelf-life food and water. Ultimately, we want to be prepared to support our students – and possibly neighbours in need – for at least 72 hours post-earthquake. At the secondary school, we have committed our proceeds from pizza day sales from 2015 – 2017 entirely to building our supplies.

As we continue our work as a school, we encourage each PCS family to make their own preparedness plans. If you need some help getting started, or some information along the way, here are some links that you may find helpful:

A 30-minute video focused on the possibility of an earthquake in our region and preparedness advice:

http://www.victoriabuzz.com/2015/07/watch-simulation-on-what-can-happen-if-a-9-0-earthquake-hit-bc-and-tips-to-survive-from-survivors/

Fault Lines, a podcast series from CBC (released Oct 11/2016)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/events/cbc-vancouver-launches-first-original-podcast-fault-lines-1.3784976

The BC government PreparedBC website:

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc

October 13, 2016