Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto, toured “ground zero” in Port Alberni on Thursday, June 9 to showcase Exercise Coastal Response(ECR).
Along with Yamamoto, Port Alberni Mayor, Mike Ruttan, Tofino mayor, Josie Osborne and media from around the province toured the facilities used for ECR.
They included, The Salvation Army’s mobile kitchens, Emergency Social Services Reception Centre, Emergency Social Services Group Lodging, Medical Mobile Units and a Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) demonstration.
“In concert with our own crisis communications, collaboration, partnership and open and honest communication between our government and the media is critical in a catastrophic disaster,” Yamamoto said in a press release. “This earthquake exercise allows members of the media to see what ‘The Big One’ might be like on the front lines. Should a major earthquake strike B.C., this experience will give journalists a greater ability to more accurately describe the situation to the general public, which could ultimately save lives.”
Exercise Coastal Response is the Government of B.C.’s $1.2-million full-scale earthquake and tsunami response exercise which tests the BC Earthquake Immediate Response Plan and promotes interagency co-operation among both internal and external agencies that support emergency response
“Exercise Coastal Response has been a great opportunity to collaborate and share critical knowledge regarding our response to a major disaster,” Mayor Mike Ruttan said in a press release. “There is no question that there is more work to do but through partnerships such as this, we’re better prepared for the emergencies of tomorrow.”