This week, British Columbia is raising public awareness of disaster mitigation with Tsunami Preparedness Week, offering residents information and opportunities to better prepare in the event of a tsunami striking coastal communities.

This past January, the public was reminded of the threat posed by tsunamis to coastal communities in B.C. when a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska triggered tsunami warnings in four out of five tsunami notification zones, with a tsunami advisory in the fifth.

“The tsunami warning in January was a major wake-up call for coastal communities,” said Jennifer Rice, Parlimentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “That is why our government is working to prepare our citizens for tsunami events and partnering with the federal government to enhance public alerting capabilities should disaster strike.”

In conjunction with Tsunami Preparedness Week, PreparedBC has introduced an all-new easy-to-use Earthquake and Tsunami Guide designed to assist all British Columbians on their journey toward personal preparedness. The guide provides a narrative account of the magnitude 9 earthquake that, in 1700, swept away 5,000 residents of Loht’a. As well, it encourages residents to understand the risk and to plan for disruptions to water services and other utilities.

Last week, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada announced the expansion of the National Public Alerting System to smartphones under the Alert Ready app. The app will assist with disaster mitigation by providing alerts to Canadians, and in particular, the app will provide tsunami warnings to B.C. residents. The wireless alerting capability will be publicly tested for the first time in B.C. on May 9, 2018, at 1:55 p.m., Pacific time.

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