Victoria is located in one of the most at-risk areas for earthquakes. But there is much we can do to prepare for "The Big One."
That was the message from Alison Bird, our luncheon speaker on March 5. Alison is an earthquake seismologist at the Geological Survey of Canada.
In her introduction, VWNC Vice-President Jane Ross noted that Alison analyses and researches western Canada's earthquakes. We learned that a destructive earthquake hit our region as recently as 1946, causing chimneys to topple and knocking a house off its foundation.
Some of the hazards associated with earthquakes that we can expect in Victoria include fires, power outages, tsunamis and landslides. In preparing to deal with these hazards, Alison spoke of the importance of making a plan. For example, you should choose the best place to go in your house to avoid falling objects (such as under a sturdy table or desk), and determine where you would reconnect with loved ones if separated.
She emphasized that you need to build an emergency kit, and it should include food that you would actually want to eat! Her own kit includes spicy items and good-quality chocolate.
Alison encourages everyone to sign up to participle in the ShakeOutBC earthquake drill. This is held in October, but she says it is never too early to practice what to do in an earthquake: Drop, Cover and Hold On!
For more information, here are links to topics Alison covered in her presentation:
Earthquake Country Alliance: Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety
Natural Resources Canada: How would your home stand up? http://www.earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/info-gen/prepare-preparer/eqresist-en.php
PreparedBC: Earthquake and Tsunami Guide
Relative Earthquake Hazard Map of Greater Victoria
Thanks to Carol Macpherson for the photos.