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

Broken axle caused New Hazelton train derailment: TSB

It could happen again without a different way to inspect trains

Cullen remains uncertain about political future

Says he’ll make decision in early March

Terrace resident’s bill banning single-use plastics introduced in Ottawa

MP Nathan Cullen’s presented Ben Korving’s private member’s bill Wednesday

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Australian woman killed in avalanche while snowboarding at Whistler Blackcomb

The woman and her partner were reportedly rescued by ski patrol, but the woman died in hospital

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

Regulator’s report unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline expansion battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Most Read