Residents of the Pacheedaht First Nation and Port Renfrew will receive increased capability for tsunami warnings and the potential to provide earthquake early warnings, thanks to a $550,000 contribution from the BC Disaster Mitigation Program to the Capital Regional District (CRD).
“The threat of earthquakes and a resulting tsunami is part of Pacheedaht community life,” said Chief Jeff Jones, Pacheedaht Nation. “It is not a matter of if, but when the event will occur; this has been a part of Pacheedaht’s history since time immemorial. We are grateful for the upgrades to the tsunami warning system, and hope this builds momentum for other emergency preparedness initiatives in Pacheedaht traditional territory.”
The funds will replace existing obsolete tsunami sirens with new warning technology to help residents to be quickly informed in the event a tsunami threatens the region. The tsunami siren upgrades will include voice-over capability and remote activation, expanding the audible warning zone to include the Pacheedaht First Nation community. The proposed system will have the potential to provide early warning prior to an earthquake actually occurring. This could allow residents time to drop, cover and hold on, and head to high ground.
“This investment will provide a much needed replacement of the current tsunami warning system,” said Mike Hicks, director, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. “It will be critical to the safety of the residents and visitors to Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht First Nation. This new world-class, state-of-the-art warning system will help to protect the community from the very real threat of tsunamis.”
The funding is all a part of a broader set of more than $80 million invested in emergency preparedness and mitigation. Some of these investments, which will have positive benefits throughout the province, include:
- $32 million to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund to be administered by UBCM that will include items like $3 million for flood risk assessments, floodplain maps and flood mitigation plans, $20 million to fund flood mitigation projects, and $4.2 million emergency social services.
- $5.5 million for the BC Search and Rescue Association for essential supports to search and rescue (SAR) volunteers, the SAR prevention program AdventureSmart, the acquisition, maintenance and upgrading of rescue equipment, and deployable communication systems to assist in communication in B.C.’s backcountry.
- $500,000 to Avalanche Canada to support public education and avalanche alert throughout B.C.
- $100,000 to PEP Air to support capital purchases and recognize the effort of the volunteer air search and rescue teams throughout the province.
- March 15 announcement of over $80 million in emergency preparedness
- Capital Regional District
- Emergency Management BC
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