COPE introducing earthquake preparedness plan for Vancouver

COPE is trying to initiate an emergency response plan for neighbourhoods in Vancouver. 

“The Japanese earthquake has deeply affected me personally,” COPE City councillor Ellen Woodsworth told the Vancouver Observer. “My father is from Japan and I am very deeply connected with friends and relationships in Japan. So when I started to see how it was being responded to in New Zealand, and then how the Japanese government and local authorities are responding, I realized that we needed to really look at our plans in a way that is more effective.”

Woodsworth says that there is coordination in neighbourhoods to tell people when to put their garbage and recycling out, but there is not any kind of information on how to respond in the event of a disaster. 

“The part that is missing is the coordination at the neighborhood level,” Woodsworth said.

She says that flyers should be delivered to every house, coordinating an emergency preparedness and response action. 

“I don’t think there’s ever been a comprehensive emergency response developed [in Vancouver],” Woodsworth said. “That’s why there is this motion.”

COPE (Coalition of Progressive Electors) is trying to remedy that.

Woodsworth, Park Board Commissioner Loretta Woodcock and Board of Education Trustee Allan Wong all agree that a coordinated plan is necessary to be put in place so people will know what to do in the event of Vancouver experiencing a natural disaster. 

Woodcock was in Christchurch, New Zealand when the earthquake hit on Feb. 22. 

Then, on March 11, the devastating earthquake hit Japan. 

“What we are trying to do,” Alvin Singh, Executive Director of COPE said, “is put together a community based response so that people in their homes, with their families know what to do, know where to go and know that they can count on one another in sort of an orderly way to respond community by community to disasters like this.”

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