In View Royal and around the region, emergencies and disasters can happen without warning. You can help your family can stay safe during these emergencies by being prepared ahead of time.
Know the risks in your area where you live work and play.
Make a plan: It is your responsibility to prepare an emergency plan so every member of your family understands what to do if there is an earthquake or other disaster.
Assemble an emergency kit that will help sustain yourself and your family for a week or more. You will need enough supplies to be self-sufficient for at least a week following a major emergency as many services will be affected. Prepare an emergency kit with supplies available (including food, water, and extra clothing). This kit will be beneficial if you have to leave your home, or survive in your home without water or electricity for several days.
Know the risks:
In View Royal we are fortunate that our geography, climate and industry is relatively safer compared to other towns and cities around the continent. However there are risks in the region that residents should be aware of and plan for. The information below provides ways of preparing for many of the hazards we face in this region.
Coastal British Columbia faces significant potential for earthquakes because of its proximity to moving plates beneath the earth’s crust. Approximately 5000 earthquakes are recorded in British Columbia every year; while many of these are at a small magnitude and occur offshore, a large earthquake could happen at any time and without warning.
You can help prepare your family for an earthquake by preparing in advance. Build an emergency kit, make a family emergency plan and know what to do if the ground starts shaking.
Before an earthquake:
- Visit ShakeOutBC’s website for some great preparedness tips
- Prepare your family by developing a family emergency plan and practice it regularly.
- Prepare an emergency kit that will allow you and your family to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
During an earthquake:
If you are indoors:
- Drop under a sturdy table or piece of furniture to cover your body as much as possible.
- Hold on to the piece of furniture, and stay with it if it moves.
- If furniture is unavailable to you, use an interior wall or corner, crouch down and protect your head and neck with your arms.
- Even if the shaking stops there could be aftershocks, so count to 60 before leaving your safe spot.
- Remember: DROP, COVER and HOLD ON.
If you are outside:
- Move away from buildings, trees, utility poles and wires that may produce falling debris.
- Crouch down on the ground as you may find it difficult to stand while the ground is shaking.
- Stay out in an open space until the shaking stops.
If you are driving a vehicle:
- Pull over quickly and safely away from utility poles, wires, trees and bridges.
- Remain in your vehicle and turn on the radio for updates.
- Once the shaking stops and you feel it is safe to drive, proceed cautiously and watch for down utility poles and breaks in the pavement.
After an earthquake:
- Check yourself and others for injuries.
- Get your emergency kit and evacuate the building if you are inside one.
- Tune in to local media for information and updates.
- Follow the Emergency Management BC’s guide to recovery:
More Earthquake Info….
- Earthquakes (BC)
- Shakeout BC
- BC Hydro: Earthquake Safety
- Fortis Gas: Earthquake Safety
- Red Cross: Earthquakes
Hazard Materials Spills and Releases
Major urban and fires and Wildland Fires
Make a Plan
Knowing the hazards and risks in View Royal will help you to better understand what events you may need to plan for. You should have a plan to deal with emergencies or disasters resulting from these hazards. Your plan should include:
- How to contact family members and how to be reunified after an emergency. This includes designating meeting places and an outside the area contact or “third person” who can relay information between family members
- An emergency contact list which includes Police, Fire Ambulance, utilities, school, work, friends and family phone numbers and email.
- Means of communication. How will you communicate? Radio, text, cell, landline or through a designated third person?
- Evacuation routes out of your home (know two ways out – hyperlink to fire safety stuff) as well as your neighbourhood. This will include identifying your designated meeting place(s).
- A support network with family and friends. Can you host or be hosted by friends or family in the event that you or they cannot return home due to an emergency?
- Consideration of special needs such as pets, elderly or disabled family members, infants or any medical challenges.
- Fire extinguishers, water and gas shutoffs locations and procedures.
- Insurance appropriate and up to date?
- Radio stations and social media to follow
What is “Shelter in Place”
An accident may cause a hazardous material to enter the air. Sometimes it may be too dangerous to evacuate as you may need to travel through the hazard. Therefore, unless the hazardous material is flammable, emergency response professionals may recommend that you stay indoors until you receive instructions to leave. Once you are inside, there are several things you can do to help your building protect you:
- Go indoors and stay there.
- Close all outside doors and every door inside the building.
- Close all windows.
- Do not use kitchen vents or bathrooms vents.
- Set thermostats so air conditioners, furnaces and hot water heaters will not come on.
- Do not use fireplaces. Close all dampers.
- Do not operate the clothes dryer.
- Stay in an inside room away from windows and doors if possible.
- Reduce or avoid smoking as it contaminates the air.
- Do not leave the building until told to.
- Stay tuned to local television or radio for information.
- Do not use the telephone, leave the phone lines open for emergency personnel.
Our well weather-stripped buildings slow the movement of air into the buildings and any hazardous material that does enter is weakened when it mixes with the indoor air. When requested by emergency officials, It is imperative that you stay indoors, especially if you see a cloud, vapour, or smoke from the hazardous material outdoors or you can smell it indoors. You will be safer inside.