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Delta Conducts Emergency Earthquake Exercise

Apr 13, 2018

On the morning of Friday, April 13, 2018, the City of Delta conducted an emergency earthquake exercise – Exercise Ground Truth North Delta –at Fire Halls #3 and #5 in North Delta.

Over the past two years, Delta has been developing a comprehensive Disaster Damage Assessment to assess the overall impact that an earthquake would have on the city. The assessment provides a high-level snapshot of the extent and boundaries of the damage to the community as well as to Delta’s critical infrastructure and facilities. It helps determine the scope of the emergency response and location of the critical needs.

During the exercise, first responders from Delta Fire, Delta Police, Engineering Operations and Bylaws, assembled at one of two Corporate Emergency Coordination Centres (Fire Halls #3 and #5) and undertook a communitywide drive-by assessment of 36 critical infrastructure sites, across five driving routes, in less than 3 hours.  Once the assessment was complete, the status of Delta’s infrastructure was conveyed to a mock Emergency Operations Centre using amateur radio communications.

“The City of Delta is leading the region when it comes to developing a plan for a triaged and prioritized response to the damage caused by a catastrophic earthquake. We have received inquiries from a number of local governments seeking advice on how to develop their own Disaster Damage Assessment procedure” said Mayor Lois E. Jackson. “Delta has a duty to get this city up and running after an earthquake, and I am confident that these exercises will help facilitate a quicker recovery by our first responders.”

This is the second time that Delta has undertaken a Disaster Damage Assessment exercise.  In April 2017, Delta ran Exercise Ground Truth Tsawwassen to test the Disaster Damage Assessment driving routes in Tsawwassen.

“Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility. As Delta prepares to respond to an earthquake, it is important for residents and businesses to do the same,” said Delta Fire Chief Paul Scholfield. “Delta’s Emergency Management Office encourages the community to prepare to be on your own for at least 72 hours following a catastrophic emergency event such as an earthquake.”

For more information regarding this news release, contact the City Manager’s Office at 604-946-9212 or email citymanager@delta.ca.