Emergency Personal Preparedness (NEPP)
workshops in community centres across
Vancouver. You can register for a workshop by
visiting vancouver.ca/beprepared. such as copies of important documents and
prescriptions for all family members in a go-
kit in case you do need to leave after an
Have a conversation
Do you know what kinds of hazards exist in your
home or workplace? Do you know where to
meet your loved ones if you can’t meet them
at home? These are the simple yet important
questions you should discuss with your family
and your colleagues. Encourage employees
to develop household emergency plans. The
City of Vancouver offers a 10-step family
emergency plan template as an easy planning
guide to get you and your family started. Get to know your neighbours/ business network
Being prepared isn’t just about what you
have, it’s about who you know. After a major
emergency such as an earthquake, neighbours
need to rely on each other. Whether you live in
a house or an apartment building, know who
your neighbours are, what skills they have, and
what they might need from you. Similarly, it is
important to discuss and exchange emergency
plans with all the suppliers and service providers.
Be prepared to have employees
trained on basic first aid training
and how to aid employees or
customers with special needs. How the City of Vancouver is preparing
The City of Vancouver is actively planning and
preparing for earthquakes and other hazards
in a variety of ways. Most recently, the City
conducted a full-scale emergency exercise
in May 2019, testing the ability to respond
to a moderate earthquake. The exercise,
which involved over 600 participants included
recreation centre evacuations, building
and infrastructure inspections, search and
rescue operations, and internal and external
Know how to connect
After an earthquake, typical methods of
communication may not be available.
Even if the earthquake doesn’t damage
telecommunication towers, networks may not
be able to handle call volumes. You should
prioritize text messaging, emails, and app-
based communication over phone or video
chats, because they are more likely to connect.
Have an out-of-town contact everyone in your
family can contact.
You should also select a few designated
meeting places in case you can’t reach your
colleagues or family: one should be close to
home and one should be further away. Keep
in mind children, seniors, pets, and those with
disabilities may require some extra planning.
Have what you need to get by
If possible, put aside essential supplies at home
such as food, water, flashlights, a first aid kit,
and other basic supplies. Critical services like
water and gas may not be available after an
earthquake; if you have the supplies you need
and your home is not damaged, you can stay
there even without power or water as long as
you have supplies.
You should also put a few essential items
Some other key ways the City has worked to
improve earthquake response and resilience
include the following:
• Upgrades to critical water, sewer and
energy systems to increase seismic resilience
in the event of an earthquake.
• Development of communications
plans, including the establishment of an
emergency communications volunteer
organization known as VECTOR.
• Staff training and exercises for the city’s
Emergency Operation Centre, Disaster
Staging Areas, and other response teams.
• Development and training of Canada Task
Force 1, one of five Heavy Urban Search
and Rescue operations in Canada.
The City of Vancouver is preparing and
planning for emergencies, but everyone has a
role to play.
Fall 2019 Edition: Emergency Preparedness
Safety Scene 15