Oak Bay High prepares for the big one

School seeks donations for massive earthquake kit

Members of Oak Bay High’s earthquake preparedness committee Keith Butler

While 2013 will yield the beginning of construction for the new Oak Bay High, one group at the school hopes to see another, albeit slightly less visible, upgrade in place.

Oak Bay High’s earthquake preparedness committee has acquired a massive freighter container they would like to fill with emergency supplies by the end of the school year. The insulated container, purpose-built by Vancouver Island Containers and now parked by the school field, includes a floor, shelving and white board and will serve as a headquarters in the event of an emergency. The previous emergency kits, two much smaller metal bins, had rusted out over time, leaving nearly all of their contents unusable. The larger container, committee chair Keith Butler said, was long overdue.

“It became very apparent that we weren’t prepared at all for a school this size,” Butler said.

The committee has sent out a call for donations of tents, blankets and sleeping bags in good condition. There is a budget to purchase non-perishable food items for the bin.

“We’re trying to move as fast as we can because an earthquake could happen tomorrow, or in a month, or two weeks,” said committee member, Sébastien Liénard.

In the event of an earthquake outside of school hours, the supplies will also be accessible to the community.

“The faster we do this, the better,” Liénard said. “Of course we can’t predict when we’ll have everything ready. We’re just trying to move along as fast as possible.”

To donate, contact Liénard or Butler at Oak Bay High, 250-598-3361. The committee will pick up any suitable items.