Lessons to learn following quake

The Kitimat Fire Department and the Kitimat Emergency Program are in general happy with the way the earthquake and tsunami was handled.

The Kitimat Fire Department and the Kitimat Emergency Program are in general happy with the way the Oct. 27 earthquake and tsunami warning was handled, but communication with the public will definitely be a priority as they learn from the event.

Fire Chief Trent Bossence said that an Emergency Operations Centre was immediately established at the fire hall, together with emergency coordinator Bob McLeod, as well as representatives from local industries such as Bechtel and Rio Tinto Alcan.

Phone lines were down for the fire department for approximately half an hour after the earthquake but cell phones still worked allowing the members to be in touch with each other.

Bossence said that, as with many others in the province, information was slow coming from Emergency Management BC, but that they don’t rely entirely on that group to give them information, turning as well to other main sources such as the West Coast And Alaska Tsunami Centre.

“There’s multiple sources we can get information from,” he said.

From information updates through their various channels they were confident that Kitimat had a low-risk of damage, save for areas below tide lines, namely marinas, so people at MK Bay Marina, for instance, were advised to get off their boats.

A lot of information we being shared among emergency responders in various communities. Bossence said he was quickly calling Prince Rupert’s fire chief for information.

Of course all their work didn’t do much to stem the tide of misinformation being transmitted through social media.

“There was a lot of information and misinformation being sent out on social media. It’s unfortunate but it’s also a reality,” said Bossence.

Communication is one of the largest takeaways from the event, and how to recognize the impact of social media.

“I totally understand the frustration of our community and not knowing what’s going on,” he said.

As for the possibility of evacuations, Bossence said the tried-and-true way is to just knock on doors, and driving down streets with megaphones alerting people to the danger.

While social media can be a way to spread information, he said in an evacuation setting it would be challenging as it would take away control.

As for some of the takeaways from this, he said earthquake risks are proven real and it’s important to keep yourself ready.

Just Posted

Vopak expects 240 liquid gas-by-rail cars per day

North Coast residents can learn more about the Ridley Island-based project at the open houses

Ice Demons get an early start on the ice

The players are determined to score wins in this year’s league.

Focus groups important for age-friendly policy

These results will drive the age-friendly action plan

Is it a car? Is it a buggy? Yes, all of the above

Riverbank cleanup nets some odd items

CMTN unveils renovated House of Cedar

$18.4M upgrade and renovation cited as key to modern trades training

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

Most Read