Canadian Underwriter

Vancouver gets updated earthquake preparedness plan

December 4, 2013   by Canadian Underwriter

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The city of Vancouver now has an updated earthquake preparedness plan, which uses lessons learned from major overseas disasters.

City Council received a staff report Tuesday outlining 56 actions to improve Vancouver’s preparedness for a major earthquake event.

Read more: Canada not prepared for a major earthquake,insured costs would be significant

The report was a response to a 2011 directive from council to “assess the seismic state of public buildings and infrastructure, report back with a strategy for improvement and enhance public preparedness, including drills and exercises.”

The actions include seismic upgrades to the Granville Bridge, the development of a business preparedness program, and improvements to high-risk parts of the city’s water system.

It has also identified areas that would be of high risk during an earthquake, including those that could be “vulnerable to liquefaction, peak ground velocity, tsunami run-up potential, and buildings built before 1973, when seismic standards were included in the building code,” according to a statement from the mayor’s office.

The report also calls for the city to “analyze weak links in our supply chain for critical supplies and services required in earthquake response.”

The updated plan took into account lessons from recent events in Chile, New Zealand and Japan, the mayor’s website noted.

“City Hall is working harder than ever before to prepare Vancouver for a major earthquake, with essential steps to reduce risks of damage, boost our emergency response services and improve the safety of everyone who lives and works here,” Mayor Gregor Robertson commented in a statement.

“Vancouver’s effective response and recovery from an earthquake will depend hugely on residents and businesses taking their own initiative, and it’s crucial that every home and workplace in Vancouver is prepared in advance with an emergency plan and earthquake kit.”

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