Experience has shown that after a natural disaster, many individuals and neighbourhoods are left on their own for at least 72 hours. Although there is nothing that can be done to prevent a natural disaster, you can prepare now to survive during the emergency and during the next 72 hours.
Never miss an emergency alert or general community notice from the City of White Rock with Alertable. Alertable sends emergency alerts directly to your phone.
Know the Risks
Earthquakes - Drop, cover and hold on
When you feel the ground shake or receive an alert, immediately drop, cover and hold on.
- Drop to your hands and knees. If you’re inside, stay inside – don’t run outdoors or to other rooms.
- Cover your head and neck with your arm and take shelter under a sturdy piece of furniture. If there is no shelter nearby, crawl to the nearest interior corner or wall while continuing to protect your head and neck.
- Hold on to your shelter, covering your head and neck until the shaking stops.
For more ways to Drop, Cover, and Hold on, visit ShakeOutBC.ca
Join The Great British Columbia ShakeOut every October to practice how to Practice how to drop, cover and hold on.
Due to the City's geographical location, White Rock is shielded from tsunamis created by earthquakes in the Pacific Ocean. And, according to the Province’s Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery division, “it is generally accepted by scientific and technical experts that Victoria, eastern Vancouver Island, Vancouver and the lower mainland are low-risk areas.”
B.C.'s coastal communities have been divided into five "notification zones" (Read Tsunami Notification Zones for British Columbia.) The City of White Rock is in Zone E, which is a low-risk area.
Tsunamis are most often caused by huge undersea earthquakes that cause large waves.
How will I know if a tsunami is coming?
If a tsunami threat is identified, Emergency Management BC will activate the Provincial Emergency Notification System (PENS), which notifies local communities and agencies with information on alert levels for the province’s five tsunami zones. Each zone includes all islands and inlets within it. Emergency response plans are implemented at the local level as required.
Throughout the event, official tsunami emergency warnings and information will be broadcast by radio, television, telephone, text message, door-to-door contact, social media, and weather radios. Always follow instructions from local emergency officials.
Hazardous material spills can occur on land or in water. They involve substances such as chemicals, radiation, biohazard materials, oil and gas, propane, flammable materials, industrial products and mixed waste.
Report a hazardous material spill
If you become aware of a hazardous material spill, report it.
- Call toll-free 1-800-663-3456 24 hours a day
- If the spill is in international waters, call 1-800-OILS-911
The chance of a damaging wildfire has increased in recent years, due in part to hotter and drier summer conditions caused by climate change.
Many wildfires in B.C. occur far from cities and towns, but sometimes they threaten homes, businesses and infrastructure. Help keep your family safe by preparing in advance for a potential evacuation alert or order. Develop a household plan, put together your emergency kit and connect with your neighbours.
Nearly half of all wildfires in B.C. are caused by human carelessness. You can make a difference by following a few simple rules.
Make a Plan
Download and complete the fill-in-the-blanks Home Emergency Plan (PDF) from Prepared BC. Think about the things you need every day and consider what you would do if you didn't have them. Your plan should include:
- Home address
- Contact information
- Local hazards/disasters most likely to affect our home
- School-aged children names & school addresses
- Layout of your home with exits and windows marked
- Health information
- Utilities information
- Insurance information
Download specific guides for apartments or condos, older adults, people with disabilities, pets, business and more at PreparedBC.
Build an Emergency Kit
Put supplies in one or 2 containers, such as plastic bins or duffel bags. Store them in an area of your home that’s easy to get to, such as a hall closet, spare room or garage.
- Non-perishable food: minimum three-day to one-week supply, with a manual can opener
- Water: four litres per person, per day for drinking and sanitation
- Phone charger, power bank or inverter
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Battery-powered or hand-crank flashlight
- Extra batteries
- First-aid kit and medications
- Personal toiletries and items, such as an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses
- Copy of your emergency plan
- Copies of important documents, such as insurance papers and identification
- Cash in small bills
- Garbage bags and moist towelettes for personal sanitation
- Seasonal clothing, sturdy footwear and emergency blanket
- Dust masks
- Help/OK Sign (PDF): Display the appropriate side outward in your window during a disaster.
How to turn off utilities
Know how to turn off your main utilities – water, electricity, gas. In certain emergencies, authorities will ask that these be turned off for safety reasons. Write out instructions, if needed, and post somewhere visible.
Important: If you suspect a gas leak, turn off the gas valve and leave immediately. One the gas is turned off at the meter, DON’T try to turn it back on. Only a licensed contractor can do that safely.