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Delta to assess its vulnerabilities

One of the goals of the assessment is to evaluate the vulnerability of critical infrastructure, public facilities and residential areas to hazards
Pictured earlier this year at Firehall No. 4, which is also Delta’s Emergency Operations Centre, from left to right: Fire Chief Guy McKintuck, Deputy Fire Chief Dave Ayton and Terry Cheng, the City of Delta’s Acting Manager of Design and Construction. Sandor Gyarmati photo

The City of Delta has issued a request for proposals for a consultant to conduct a comprehensive hazard and risk vulnerability assessment.

The goal for Delta is to enhance disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

The analysis is to identify and assess potential hazards that pose a threat including climate change and atmospheric hazards such as extreme heat, cold spells, rainstorms and drought incidents that are already increasing in frequency and severity, increasing the risk of wildfire and other hazards.

Among other things, the assessment is to include human activity that has the potential to cause widespread injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation.

An assessment was conducted in 2006 but significant changes in emergency management have occurred since then, so the previous report is now outdated, according to the city.

The city also notes that it is anticipated that an updated Emergency Program Act (EPA) will be passed by the B.C. government this year, incorporating new regulations for emergency management plans and requirements for assessments to consider the impacts of climate change.

Earlier this year, Delta’s various departments, along with the police and fire services, conducted a large-scale emergency exercise to test the local coordinated response to a major earthquake that would result in all telecommunication and power becoming unavailable.

The drill was part of an overall a large-scale emergency preparedness training exercise in B.C, with a simulated alert sent to Exercise Coastal Response 2023 (CR23) participants.

The exercise included nearly 200 participating organizations and began four days into the simulated earthquake event, involving a large population and complex infrastructure, including major bridges, ports, airports, railways and highways.

Firehall No. 4 near the Boundary Bay Airport not only acts as the fire department’s training centre, but also Delta’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), where a communications centre is immediately established and procedures, roles and responsibilities were put to the test.