Earthquake Ready Action Plan

Our Earthquake Ready Action Plan is designed to strengthen our earthquake resiliency in four key areas — mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery — by focusing on the people, buildings, infrastructure, and systems that are most vulnerable.

Being earthquake resilient is a monumental task for a local government and the community it serves. Our plan is a living document that will expand and shrink as new ideas for resilience emerge or need updating, and as actions are completed. 

Read the plan in detail

News and updates

April 28, 2015 - Comprehensive risk assessment study released

We released a comprehensive earthquake risk assessment study — the first of its kind for a Canadian municipality — which provides a clear picture of what we can expect during an earthquake. This study, along with a plain language companion document, "When the Ground Shakes," informs the goals and objectives of our action plan.

Details of the plan

Actions in the plan

The plan contains dozens of actions that we can take to improve our earthquake resiliency. Some of these actions are already completed, some are in progress, and some are not yet started.

Phase Goal Actions include
Before a disaster (mitigation) Reduce impacts on our infrastructure Structural assessments, seismic reviews, structural updates of:
  • Facilities
  • Utilities
  • Building and development policies
Before a disaster (mitigation) Reduce impacts on our community Training, outreach, education for:
  • District staff
  • Residents
  • Businesses
  • Senior and daycare facilities
  • Recreation centres, libraries, museums
During a disaster (response) Improve response in the hours and days after an earthquake
  • Rapid damage assessment
  • Engineering department operations centre
  • Emergency transportation strategy
  • Operational response plan
  • Emergency communications strategy
After a disaster (recovery) Recover in the months and years following an earthquake
  • Development services procedures
  • Operational recovery
  • Community recovery

Background

Actions leading up to this plan

The Pacific Northwest region of BC is one of the most seismically active regions in Canada, and most people understand that a damaging earthquake could occur at any time. Yet, few people are prepared, likely because: 

  • a damaging earthquake has not occurred in our region in recent history
  • preparing for an earthquake is an overwhelming task without specific knowledge about its impacts

As a result, we agreed to collaborate with Natural Resources Canada in a pilot project to explore earthquake risk reduction at the municipal level, with the hope of stimulating action to get prepared at all levels: personal, family, business, and government. 

How the study was completed

In creating the earthquake risk assessment study, detailed scientific knowledge about the seismic hazard potential was combined with information about our community profile. A risk analysis was then performed, using a credible 7.3M Georgia Strait earthquake scenario, to model impacts and consequences.

The final step was to model the effects of mitigation, making a strong case — in regards to both public safety and economics — to invest in mitigation, such as seismic retrofits and re-development in vulnerable areas.