A larger and heavier kit designed to ‘shelter in place’. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Oak Bay Emergency adds second information session in wake of tsunami warning

VIDEO: The basic grab and go bag

Room remains in an sessions next month are already sold out after this week’s tsunami warning.

“We’ve had this experience before, if you get something going on right before the date it fills up,” says Eileen Grant, manager, Emergency Programs

Oak Bay. With that expectation, they added a second session that filled in fewer than 24 hours.

The Feb. 21 afternoon session is full with room remaining in an evening session at the Monterey centre. The next session is slated for April 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. Call 250-592-9121 or obep@oakbay.ca to register (recommended).

The free, 90-minute sessions explore how to be prepared for an emergency, how to develop a personal preparedness plan, put together an evacuation grab-and-go kit and more.

“However, because of the circumstances we’ll certainly spend more time on evacuation and notifications and what exactly our plan is. We do have a plan and we will talk about what that plan looks like. I’m sure there will be questions,” Grant said.

On Tuesday, (Jan. 23 ) the National Tsunami Warning Centre issued a tsunami warning at 1:35 a.m. for coastal B.C. after an earthquake 279 kilometres off the coast of Kodiak, Alaska. The tsunami warning was cancelled just after 4 a.m. Grant was onsite at the reception centre at Oak Bay Recreation Centre, to provide information and comfort for those who self evacuated, such as the pair who arrived just before the warning ended.

“These people were involved in a strata and they came down for information on what do they do with the rest of the people in the strata,” Grant said.

The morning provided an opportunity to practice protocol and the sessions help garner feedback.

“People are very interested in mass notification system and what we have said is we are looking at them, we have been looking at them for a bit, there’s just a lot of questions around what is the best one,” Grant said.

The Vic-Alert system specific to the City of Victoria, went from 6,500 people registered to 23,000 and counting by the next day.

“The neat thing is everybody wants to be part of the solution. Give us your ideas, we’ll certainly listen, but we may not be able to use them all,” Grant said.

Emergency officials plan to meet with regional partners in the coming weeks to discuss a regional alert strategy.

The next session is slated for April 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. Call 250-592-9121 or obep@oakbay.ca to register.

This morning, the district released a Q&A about Tuesday’s tsunami warning. Find it here.


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The basic pet grab and go bag. Oak Bay Emergency Preparedness Program wants every person in a household to have a bag, and one for each pet. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

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