Saturday’s (Oct. 28) magnitude-7.7 earthquake that rocked Haida Gwaii and much of the central B.C. coast should serve as a wake-up call for Sea to Sky Corridor residents who aren’t prepared for an emergency, Squamish’s emergency program manager said this week.
The temblor, which struck at 8:04 p.m., caused little damage and no injuries — remarkable given its severity. It was felt by some in Squamish, while some in town reported seeing hanging lights and plants sway shortly after the earthquake struck.
A Squamish-based poster to the website www.earthquake-report.com wrote, “Blinds rattling for approx. 15 seconds at around 8:15 here. Jumped up to see what was happening and deduced it was an earthquake.”
Jim Lang, District of Squamish emergency program manager, on Tuesday (Oct. 30) said the temblor should serve as a wake-up call to Sea to Sky Corridor residents who don’t have an emergency preparedness kit at home and in the car and haven’t made a plan for what to do if an emergency strikes.
“It appears that this time a lot of things went really well and on the West Coast, we were very fortunate with this one,” he said, noting that the U.S. East Coast wasn’t so fortunate this week with “Frankenstorm” Sandy.
No matter what the emergency may be — flooding is most likely in the Sea to Sky, but earthquake damage is also a distinct possibility — Lang said it’s important for households to have an emergency kit that will help you and your family survive for 72 hours without power or access to clean drinking water or food. Those looking for a list of items to include in the kit can visit the Provincial Emergency Program website at www.pep.bc.ca
“My neighbour knows where my emergency kit is, because in an earthquake I might get squished,” Lang said. “My kit is enough to feed four but I only need to respond to the needs of two people, so it gets bigger and bigger when you understand the magnitude of how it could go.”