UBC Releases Preliminary Findings From 2018 Tsunami Survey

UBC Releases Preliminary Findings From 2018 Tsunami Survey

The City of Port Alberni and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) are working with Dr. Ryan Reynolds from the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) School of Community and Regional Planning to gain a better understanding of people’s experiences during the January 23rd tsunami warning and evacuation.

In spring 2018 Dr. Reynolds and his team surveyed the public’s perception of the event. This involved door-to-door surveys in the inundation zone, of which there were 275 respondents, and an online survey, of which there were 353 respondents. According to the report, 94% of people in the inundation zone evacuated the area, with 84% of those hearing the warning through the tsunami warning system.

Most of those that evacuated sought refuge in the homes of friends or family members living in the community or nearby communities (37%), while others gathered in the parking lots of large businesses (34%) and at other locations at higher elevations.

Of the respondents, 68% felt that emergency managers had conducted the evacuation effectively under the conditions. 87% indicated they believed the decision by the Director of the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to evacuate the community was the correct choice given the information available.

In the next several months Dr. Reynolds and his research team will look into the data in greater depth to better understand how tsunami risk is perceived, and how residents and officials responded during the event. The final report, including detailed evacuation modelling, will be complete in fall 2018.

For more information on emergency preparedness, please go to www.acrd.bc.ca/emergency-preparedness. To view a copy of the preliminary report, click here.