Sidney Fire asking residents to prepare themselves

Self-sufficiency key in the event of emergency

About twice a week, members of the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department have been presenting to residents of large strata buildings about emergency preparedness, and on Tuesday night, they made a similar presentation at the Fire Hall, which was open to all.

About 20 attendees viewed a slide presentation from chief Brett Mikkelsen, which covered a range of potential threats to the Town and how likely they were to occur.

Mikkelsen said that the department had been circulating to all the large strata corporations because they were self-contained communities and they could address many people at once, but the department saw demand from individual homeowners, so the department aims to host public information sessions at least quarterly. The fire department did a similar presentation in September at the Nell Horth room, and they are considering a future event in the Greenglade neighbourhood. They also hold meetings upon request.

Mikkelsen said a weather event like a snowstorm is the most likely scenario residents should prepare for, but an earthquake would be more damaging.

“If you take steps towards preparedness for the most likely event, you’ll be better prepared for the worst case event,” said Mikkelsen.

Tsunami risk is actually low in Sidney, with no severe flooding expected due to Sidney’s location up the Haro Strait, but severe tidal action would likely affect marine infrastructure and moored vessels.

The west coast of Vancouver Island or Port Renfrew would be at greater risk.

Mikkelsen said that Sidney’s older population was a unique consideration, with over 37 per cent of the Town over the age of 65, and nearly 10 per cent of the town over the age of 85.

Emergency services would likely be overwhelmed with calls to Resthaven Lodge and other assisted living facilities where residents could not rescue themselves. With that in mind, Mikkelsen said: “If you can look after yourself, do.”

To Mikkelsen’s knowledge, they are the first area municipality to have all nursing homes sign a mutual aid agreement where if one home fails, others will step up to take residents in. This was initiated by Sidney Fire and has been tested twice, most recently in October where 30 to 40 “residents,” played by actors, were moved in a mock evacuation.

In the event of an earthquake, Mikkelsen said “duck and cover until the shaking stops.” Falling debris and broken glass is the most common cause of injury, so having shoes or slippers by the bedside is important. Mikkelsen also recommended securing heavy bookshelves to the wall.

Putting together a 72-hour kit to survive without any assistance is “not onerous, but remains a tough sell.”

Mikkelsen’s wife is in charge of emergency preparedness in their house, and they store their emergency kit in a wheeled garbage can. He recommended re-purposing a rolling suitcase, because if residents are asked to move to a safer location, it would be easier to wheel those supplies than to carry them by hand.

“If you get 20 people here, 20 people there, there’s 20 more people more likely to put together emergency kits and understand some of the risk.”



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Sooke homeless camp to stay until a solution is found

To forbid Ed Macgregor camp would go against Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Victoria officer injured arresting robbery suspect

Woman faces charges including robbery with a weapon, assaulting a police officer

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Virtual film industry career fair offers chance to talk with the experts

Experts in 11 different departments, three film union representative will be in attendance

Sooke and T’Sou’ke Nation receive financial boost for projects

Provincial, federal governments invest millions towards Greater Victoria infrastructure

NHL says 35 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since June 8

Positive rate for the league is just under 6%

Man charged in Rideau Hall crash had rifle, shotguns, high-capacity magazine: RCMP

Hurren is accused of threatening to cause death or bodily harm to the prime minister

B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

Provincial program to match Ottawa’s CERB, student pay

Indigenous B.C. tour operator keeps culture alive through virtual journeys in COVID-19 era

Campbell River based Homalco Tours is also setting up live cameras for bear viewing in Orford

Broadway veteran Nick Cordero dies from coronavirus complications

During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis,

Northern communities welcome tourists as province opens to in-B.C. travellers

Officials have asked British Columbians to be careful as they travel this summer

Most Read