Hike to Higher Ground

Event Details

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The Sooke Emergency Program Team invites you to hike to higher ground on Thursday, April 18, 2023 at 11am, leaving from Whiffin Spit.

While most of Sooke is safe from a Tsunami risk, including all schools, the event aims to raise awareness and ensure residents are familiar in the event of an emergency.

What’s Our Risk?

A Local Tsunami (caused by a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake off the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island) is the main tsunami threat in the Capital Region and is associated with a “felt” earthquake. Feeling a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake will be an early warning sign of a potential tsunami; however, the earthquake will need to be substantial to trigger a significant tsunami.

Sooke has the benefit of being geographically located on a hillside. This means that most of the properties in the district will not be impacted by a tsunami – but will be by the earthquake that caused it. Residents who live on at-risk properties that are close to shorelines are advised to hike to high ground if there is a tsunami warning in effect. Sooke Road/West Coast Road (Highway 14) is on high ground, so walking/hiking to the road, or above (north of) it, is a safe option. The Sooke River may flood due to a tsunami surge. Residents living on properties along the southern section of the Sooke River shoreline should also seek high ground.

Local Response

During a significant event in Sooke, the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will be activated for a coordinated response to the event. A Reception Centre will be open at the Sooke Community Hall and/or Edward Milne Community School to support residents who have been evacuated from their homes.

Be Aware – Understand Your Risk

In fall 2022, the Province and the Capital Regional District (CRD) launched the Capital Region Tsunami Information Portal to empower residents and visitors to make informed emergency preparedness plans and keep people safe during a tsunami.

Residents and visitors of the Capital Region can visit the Tsunami Information Portal at PrepareYourself.ca to see if they are residing, working in, or visiting a tsunami hazard zone. Knowing the tsunami zones helps prepare now to act later in the event of a tsunami following an earthquake.

All Sooke residents should be prepared for an emergency at all times. Plan to be self-sufficient for one week – local emergency responders will be overwhelmed during a significant event. Consider pets and children’s needs. It is critical that you Prepare Yourself! Understand the risks, make a household emergency plan, and get your emergency kit together.

Join the Higher Ground Hike!

Hike to High Ground is an event that provides residents with an opportunity to practice walking/hiking up to high enough ground that they are safe. The best way to protect yourself from a tsunami is to move to high ground or inland, away from the water as soon as you hear official tsunami warnings or experience any natural tsunami warning signs. The Sooke event will allow those interested to connect with volunteers with the District’s emergency program, meet your neighbours and have a chance to WIN a four-person home emergency kit valued at $200.

  • WHEN: Thursday, April 18 at 11 am
  • WHERE: Meet at Whiffin Spit
  • WHO: Everyone welcome!

As with all events in Sooke, participants are encouraged to use alternative modes of transportation and/or carpool. Please note that parking is limited at Whiffin Spit.

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