Tuesday, June 7 marks the kickoff of Exercise Coastal Response taking place in the Alberni Valley throughout the week.
The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District in conjunction with the province are coordinating British Columbia’s first-ever provincially led, full-scale earthquake response exercise that will test elements of the new B.C. Earthquake Immediate Response Plan. The province has provided $1 million to support Exercise Coastal Response.
It will be business as usual for residents in the Valley with little to no daily disruptions, says Maggie Hodge Kwan, assistant to the emergency program coordinator at the ACRD.
“What the public might see throughout the exercise are different first responder groups traveling to different sites, but when it’s truly not an emergency—this is just an exercise—there won’t be cars going by with sirens on,” Hodge Kwan said.
“It may be a bunch of BC ambulances going by on their way to Glenwood or the HUSAR team deploying somewhere,” she said.
“But they will be traveling regularly and without interruptions of what’s happening in town.”
An open house will be available to the public during the last day of the exercise on Friday, June 10 at the Alberni Valley Multiplex from 1-3 p.m.
Folks in the community will have an opportunity to meet emergency preparedness representatives from around the province who can answer questions and show off some of their equipment.
Kwan said volunteers for the exercise have exceeded the number the ACRD hoped to reach.
“We’ve got so many volunteers and we’re so grateful that there’s so many people that want to involve themselves,” Kwan said.