Richmond seeks solution to disaster management 0
The island city is seeking alternatives for emergency management in case arterials such as this route are blocked, restricting the arrival of decision-makers, during disasters like this plane crash in 2011. (RICHARD LAM/ 24 HOURS)
A majority of Richmond’s emergency decision-makers – more than 60% — live outside the island city, even though it’s essential to have them physically at an emergency operations centre during a “high-scale” disaster.
The city is now spending $59,000 to find options on how to get emergency management online, in case routes are cut off in the chaos.
“For example, the city of Richmond is located on islands in the Fraser River, making it vulnerable to isolation during a major disaster due to congestion, bridge or tunnel failures, severe weather or heavy traffic during evacuations,” reads the proposal from Richmond.
The city points out other emergency operations centres in Metro Vancouver also face the same problem, and that there are currently “no alternatives” to include anyone not physically on location.
“This condition is not exclusive to Metro Vancouver communities, and is shared by other urban communalities affected by similar factors across Canada.”
The plan includes developing a prototype model of the “virtual” operations centre that would be tested within Richmond, Delta, the province and Emergency Management B.C.
Parts of Richmond, according to seismic studies, are especially at risk during a major earthquake as its comparatively looser ground soil can liquefy by repeated shaking, causing mass flooding.