Residents learn how to survive earthquake, tsunami

Otter Point and Juan de Fuca Emergency Management Program host drill

There’s constant talk of the Big One, but what are we actually doing about preparing for when it arrives?

On April 26, Otter Point and Juan de Fuca Emergency Management Program along with Otter Point Fire and Rescue held a Tsunami Evacuation Exercise for the residents of the Olympic View Trailer Park and Otter Point Co-op.

Overseen by Jeri Grant, JdFEMP coordinator, approximately 15 residents made their way on foot across Westcoast Road and up to Carpenter Road, headed in the direction of “up and away” which in this case, goes towards a backwoods route to long-term lodging at Camp Barnard.

Participants were reminded that their most reliable evacuation warning system will be a significant earthquake.

A strong Cascadia Event off the coast of Washington and Oregon may precipitate a tsunami which can arrive within 40 minutes to the Otter Point area. As such, the importance of a “grab and go kit” was stressed throughout the session.

Tsunamis can continue for up to 18 hours and get progressively larger in the first several waves.

“The reception by participants was great and the experience for the emergency management crews most valuable,” said Al Wickheim, community coordinator for the Otter Point Emergency Management Program.

“Whether you are rehearsing a home evacuation in the event of a fire or a neighbourhood evacuation out of a larger threat, a couple of dry runs can only be of benefit.”