While rare, a tsunami along BC's coast is a real threat. British Columbia's coast is a geologically active area, where two massive tectonic plates come together. This gives rise to increased risk of earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic activity as the Juan de Fuca plate subducts/slides under the North American Plate, upon which our region is located.
Risk of damage from tsunami, which are wave trains generated by earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption or explosions exists particularly in the SLRD's Area D, where the land meets the ocean.
- Log on to the SLRD web mapping and check to see if you are in a Tsunami Area.
- If you are in a Tsunami Area, identify tsunami escape routes by car or by foot.
- Develop a household emergency plan and assign specific safety tasks to family members. Practice your household emergency plan every six months.
- Put together an emergency kit to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours, but aim for one week. Keep a kit in your vehicle, and at school or work.
- Plan a family meeting spot and have a contact, such as a family member in another region, to check in with if you become separated.
- Get training in emergency preparedness and first aid.
- Keep your vehicle in working order and always have at least half a tank of gas.
- Pay attention to notices of danger and information updates on radio, TV and the internet.
- Check Environment Canada for weather updates, and check road conditions before travelling in a storm.
- If you are near the ocean and you feel a large earthquake, you should go inland or to higher ground immediately – do not wait for an official warning. Know your local community’s suggested evacuation routes to safe areas and proceed there immediately. Be aware that damaged roads and bridges and debris caused by the earthquake may prevent driving
- Move immediately to higher ground, taking your 72 hour kit with you.
- If there is time, and it is safe to do so, take your pets with you.
- If evacuation maps are present, follow evacuation routes shown.
- If you cannot evacuate, move to a higher storey in a building, and bring a floating object.
- If you are on a boat, deeper water is safer and if there is time, move further away from shore.
- NEVER go to the coast to watch a tsunami. NEVER go down to the water if you see it start to recede as this could be an indication that a tsunami may follow. A tsunami moves faster than a person can run. MOVE to high ground immediately!
- If you are camping on a beach or near the ocean, you may have to abandon your belongings in order to save your life.
- Listen to emergency radio and do not return to the evacuation area until it is safe to do so.
- Be aware that there may be multiple tsunami waves following initial wave front.
- Be cautious when re-entering your home and make note of any ruptured utility lines.