Safety Scene Fall 2019 - Page 16

Everyone Has A Role In Earthquake Preparedness - Desiree Hamilton, Emergency Planning Coordinator, Vancouver Emergency Management Agency | City of Vancouver D id you know that a year after The Great East Japan Earthquake, more than 5,400 businesses had yet to reopen and 1,000 businesses were bankrupt within one and a half years? The upcoming Great British Columbia ShakeOut drill, taking place on October 17th, is the perfect reminder that we live in a seismically active area. While we’ve been lucky not to have any damaging earthquakes in many years, we still need to prepare for one. The ShakeOut drill is not only an opportunity to practice how to ‘drop’, ‘cover’, and ‘hold’, it’s a chance to make a family plan with loved ones and think about how best to prepare in your place of work. Emergencies and disasters are inevitable. The question is not if they will happen, but when. While it is impossible to know the specifics ahead of time, using the best available information to plan for what might happen is the most effective way to be prepared for what does happen. Preparedness is a shared responsibility. Everyone needs to have a plan, both at home and at their workplace. Being prepared means first responders can prioritize helping those who need it most. 14 Safety Scene As a business/production company/theatre etc., you should start with having a basic preparedness checklist. Understanding the kinds of hazards your workplace may be exposed to is a good way to identify the risks to your business. For example, while on location in the Lower Mainland, it may be worth having emergency plans for flooding or for an earthquake. If on location in northern B.C. or interior B.C. during summer, risk of fires could hamper your activities. Plan for your business It’s just as important for businesses to plan for emergencies and disasters. Disasters can be devastating for local economies; well-prepared businesses can recover faster and are essential in helping their communities recover. If you own or manage a business, it’s important that you have a business continuity plan in place. Do you have the supplies you need at your workplace? Is your workspace safe, or are there hidden hazards you may not know about? Do you know how to reach your staff should an earthquake take place, and do they know what to do and where to go? All of these important questions are covered in the City of Vancouver’s Business and Employer Emergency Preparedness (BEEP) guide. For those interested in more information on how to prepare for emergencies such as earthquakes, the City of Vancouver offers frequent (and free!) Neighbourhood Fall 2019 Edition: Emergency Preparedness