Shaken to the Core

Sometimes, more can be learned from failure than from success – in that case, the Canadian Federal government stands to learn a lot from a new report criticizing their earthquake preparedness exercises from last summer. Referring to the “Pacific Quake ‘16” exercises, the event was intended to test government response to a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off of British Columbia’s southwestern coast. Instead, the event was found to be flawed, noting "Roles and responsibilities … are not clearly defined," processes were "not clear, which resulted in confusion, and created delays in response," and that the plan "does not include activities related to responding to the aftermath of a tsunami," according to the CBC.

Observes disaster-management expert Paul Kovaks of the report, “This effort is remarkably inadequate. Most of the information known about this hazard does not appear to have been used in this exercise."

This is not the first time the Canadian Federal government has come under fire for poor disaster preparedness. A report from the auditor general of Canada in 2009 observed that public safety "has not exercised leadership necessary to co-ordinate emergency management activities, including critical infrastructure protection in Canada."