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BC Preparedness Events Raise Awareness of Earthquake and Tsunami Risk

Apr 11, 2024 | BC

To educate communities about earthquake preparedness and tsunami risk, and empower them to be resilient, the British Columbia Earthquake Alliance (BCEA) is thrilled to announce this month’s Earthquake Preparedness Tour and High Ground Hikes. Events will be taking place across the province in honour of Tsunami Preparedness Week.

The Earthquake Preparedness Tour aims to simulate the experience of a seismic event, allowing participants to understand the potential impact of an earthquake and tsunami incident first hand.

Participants are also invited to join a High Ground Hike, which is a guided hike to designated tsunami-safe locations. These hikes emphasize the importance of identifying safe evacuation routes and assembling an emergency kit.

British Columbians are encouraged to review and follow these three important steps to ensure they know what to do in the event of a tsunami:

  1. If you’re near the coast and feel an earthquake, “Drop, Cover and Hold On!” and then immediately move to higher ground.

  2. Once at high ground, stay there. Wait for the “all clear” from local officials to confirm that the threat is over. Tsunami waves can last several hours.

  3. Always follow instructions from local officials during an emergency. People in coastal communities should subscribe to local emergency and weather alerts, if possible.

BCEA will be making stops in Port Alberni, Tofino, Ucluelet and Delta during Tsunami Preparedness Week. All events are free and open to the public.

  • Friday, April 12:      Alberni Valley Multiplex, Port Alberni (1 to 4 p.m.)

  • Saturday, April 13: Tofino Community Centre, Tofino (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

  • Sunday, April 14:    UAC Hall, Ucluelet (10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.)

  • Friday, April 19:      North Delta Rec Centre (upper parking lot), Delta (1 to 4 p.m.)

For more earthquake and tsunami resources, including a detailed calendar of BCEA events, visit


Naomi Yamamoto, President, BC Earthquake Alliance

"Communities in remote areas along the coast of BC and Vancouver Island, vulnerable to a tsunami, have an opportunity to understand that it will be critical during a major earthquake to Drop, Cover and Hold On, and then to quickly move to safety to high ground. Tsunami Preparedness Week goes hand in hand with earthquake education. The earthquake simulator is an unforgettable educational experience that we're grateful to be able to bring to potentially vulnerable communities."

Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness

“While BC experiences thousands of small earthquakes every year, people in coastal communities need to be ready in case we see one large enough to cause a tsunami. During Tsunami Preparedness Week, I encourage everyone to get prepared by packing grab-and-go bags, becoming familiar with local alerting services and taking part in a High Ground Hike and the Earthquake Preparedness Tour.”

Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation and MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim

“West Coasters know just how important it is to be prepared in the event of an earthquake or a tsunami. Because remote areas often don’t have the same level of resources and educational opportunities offered in larger centres, it means a lot that the BCEA is specifically visiting our region on this preparedness tour. It will help fill the gaps to ensure we are all better prepared for natural disasters.”

Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific & Western, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

"As the most seismically active region in Canada, southwest British Columbia has a 30% chance of experiencing a significant earthquake in the next 50 years. It’s not a question of if, but when. IBC is proud to sponsor the Earthquake Preparedness Tour and High Ground Hike, which provide communities with the opportunity to learn about the potential for a catastrophic event and how to prepare themselves and their families. Together, we can build a culture of preparedness and ensure a safer future for all.”

About High Ground Hikes

High Ground Hikes are community events held annually during Tsunami Preparedness Week. These hikes raise awareness of BC’s tsunami risk and give people along the coast the opportunity to practise reaching a tsunami-safe location. This year, Tsunami Preparedness Week is from April 14 to 20. Be sure to check for a High Ground Hike near you!

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Established in 1964, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up the vast majority of Canada’s highly competitive property and casualty (P&C) insurance market.

As the leading advocate for Canada’s private P&C insurers, IBC collaborates with governments, regulators and stakeholders to support a competitive environment for the P&C insurance industry to continue to help protect Canadians from the risks of today and tomorrow.

IBC believes that Canadians value and deserve a responsive and resilient private P&C insurance industry that provides insurance solutions to both individuals and businesses.

For media releases, IN Focus articles, or to book an interview with an IBC representative, visit Follow us on LinkedIn, X and Instagram, and like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC. We’re here to help.