Emergency Planning – Be Prepared, Not Scared
The District of Sooke has an excellent team of professional and volunteer emergency responders that look after the day to day emergencies common to municipalities. However, Sooke is potentially vulnerable to events that may exceed the resource capacity of the Sooke emergency responders to manage on their own. These include such events as interface forest fires, lengthy power interruptions due to storm activity, water supply interruptions, hazardous spills, earthquakes and especially the loss of a major arterial route due to bridge or road failure.
When a disaster strikes, it takes time to mobilize Community, Regional, Provincial and Federal services that may be needed to respond to the Community.
Emergency Services, through the Emergency Operations Centre, are activated when a disaster strikes to assess and assist the public; however it is critical that individual households, residential building managers, Senior Centre’s and others prepare their own premises to handle their needs for a minimum of 7 days.
A number of publications are available, both on-line and in print form, to assist the public in preparedness – as well as how to cope after an event. These valuable preparedness resources can be downloaded, or picked up at the Sooke Fire Department. Learn more about getting FireSmart (your home and property) and gather valuable preparedness resources for individuals, families, pets and businesses.
- Emergency Management BC (EMBC): Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery
- PreparedBC: British Columbia’s one-stop shop for disaster readiness information – prepare and download helpful guides
Register for the Public Alert Notification System (PANS)
During an emergency or significant event, it is important to seek local information. Threats and subsequent actions can differ according to geographic location – even within the Greater Victoria region. The District of Sooke has partnered with the CRD on their Public Alert Notification System (PANS). Sooke residents are encouraged to register to receive Sooke-specific emergency-related public alert notifications by phone, text, or email.
- If you have formerly registered with CRD PANS with a Sooke address, no need to register again.
- IMPORTANT: All notifications issued will be based on the address provided. If you list an address that is not within the location for which you are registering (Sooke), you will not receive a notification if that area is affected. The address provided must be a physical address, not a Post Office Box.
- Select a User Name that you can easily remember. The recommended format is first initial, last name (example: jsmith). The Personal Identification Number (PIN) can be between 4 and 10 characters. Please record these and store in a safe location.
- Do not enter anything into the Latitude or Longitude fields as these will be automatically populated by the system.
- Please only use a local phone number. Long distance phone numbers cannot receive alerts.
- If you have registered for SMS Text messaging a quick set of instructions will appear after you select the Submit button. Please follow the instructions to activate the SMS Text messaging service.
Please Note: Since telecommunications companies do not guarantee timely delivery of text messages, you are advised to register alternate notification devices, such as a phone number for voice calls, in addition to SMS Text Messaging. You may register up to 9 devices for notifications. Emergency Phone is not notified.
District of Sooke Emergency Plan
Emergencies can be defined as situations caused by the forces of nature, an accident, or an intentional act that constitutes a danger of major proportions to life or property. Whenever an emergency occurs, which affects the lives and property of citizens, the initial and prime responsibility for providing immediate assistance rests with the local municipal government. The District of Sooke emergency plan is designed to ensure the co-ordination of municipal, private and volunteer services during an emergency, to bring the situation under control as quickly as possible.
In order to protect residents, businesses and visitors, the District of Sooke requires a coordinated emergency response by a number of agencies. The District of Sooke has prepared an emergency response and business continuity plan, which contains distinct arrangements and procedures that are different from the normal day-to-day operations, to ensure that every official, municipal department and partner agency will be prepared to carry out assigned responsibilities in an emergency.
All municipal officials of the District of Sooke, whether elected or appointed, must be fully conversant with the contents of this emergency plan and be prepared at all times to carry out the duties and responsibilities allotted to them. In addition, it is important that residents, businesses and interested visitors be aware of its provisions.
UBCM Community Emergency Preparedness Fund Grants
The District responded to several opportunities to increase Emergency Program capacity through the submission of three, $25,000 funding applications through UBCM’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund in 2018/2019:
- Emergency Social Services: to build local capacity to provide emergency social services through the purchase of equipment. $25,000 funding application approved
- Evacuation Route Planning: to support eligible applicants to develop Evacuation Route Plans for communities that would otherwise be challenged to successfully undertake an evacuation operation during an emergency. $25,000 funding application approved – includes $5,000 for Regional Evacuation Route Planning
- Emergency Operations Centres & Training: to support the purchase of equipment and supplies required to maintain or improve Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) and to enhance EOC capacity through training and exercises. $25,000 funding application approved
- For an Emergency with respect to fire or life safety, please call 911
- Air or Marine Emergency 1 800 567 5111
- Provincial Emergency Program 1 800 885 6655 (Earthquake, Flood, Tsunami, Dangerous Goods Spilled, Coastal Watch – suspected illegal activities at sea).
- Poison Control Centre – 250 595 9211
- Victoria General Hospital – 250 727 4212
#1 Hospital Way, Victoria, BC, V8Z 6R5