Sidney Fire Department hosts the Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Expo on Sept. 20. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Are you ready for the Big One?

Sidney Fire hosts Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Expo, Sept. 20

An earthquake simulator is set to feature at the Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Expo on Sept. 20.

Hosted by Sidney Fire Department, with the help of Central Saanich Fire, North Saanich Fire and the Peninsula Emergency Measures Organization (PEMO), the expo takse place 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

ALSO READ: Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

With seismologists warning that we have now entered a period where we can expect “The Big One,” the department hopes the expo will act as a timely reminder of how to protect yourself and your family.

One of the most highly anticipated features of the expo is the Quake Cottage.

“It simulates an earthquake, so you sit in this trailer and are strapped in, and it mimics the effects and movements of a magnitude 8 seismic event. It’s basically the closest simulation you can get to the experience and movements of a real magnitude 8,” says Sidney Fire Chief Brett Mikkelsen. “It’s an eye opener. The first thing people say when they come out of the Quake Cottage is ‘Wow’ and the second things is ‘Where can I buy an emergency kit?’”

ALSO READ: North Saanich Fire offer free wildfire assessments for residents

Mikkelsen says the simulator is a great tool, as many members of the public still aren’t prepared for a large earthquake or tsunami, even with seismologists warning of raised risks. He says that after media reports of seismic events on our fault line there is an uptick of requests for information and advice. As we are currently experiencing a lull in big earthquakes he would like to keep emergency preparedness at the forefront of people’s minds.

“It’s not a question of ‘if,’ it’s a question of ‘when’ and we need to be vigilant and stay prepared,” says Mikkelsen.

ALSO READ: Sidney Fire shows off the new Community Safety Building

As well as the Quake Cottage, Fire Smart information will be disseminated, which is especially helpful for residents in the rural communities of North and Central Saanich, whose properties might border brush or woodland. The organizers are hoping for hundreds of people to come and there will we lots of things to see and activities for children to do. Mikkelsen describes it as being “all hands on deck” so visitors can talk to lots of firefighters and view the new Community Safety Building up close.

The Sidney Community Safety Building is located on 2245 Oakville Ave., in Sidney. For more information contact 250-656-2121 or firehall@sidney.ca.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

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