Some emergency planning work to do: council

When an earthquake hits the region, like it did on Dec. 29, everyone always starts thinking about an emergency preparedness plan.

When an earthquake hits the region, like it did on Dec. 29, everyone always starts thinking about an emergency preparedness plan.

Lake Cowichan town council was ahead of the game last month, talking about the subject of an easily accessible town plan on Dec. 15.

Mayor Ross Forrest said, “I think it’s something we should have in place for the community so that people won’t think when an emergency happens that we are just winging it, that we actually do have a plan.

“I know the works superintendent and the administrator have a plan in place. But maybe it’s not accessible for everyone to see and maybe it should be. So that when there’s an emergency, we’re not going to just say: ‘Run!’ That there is actually a plan in place,” he said.

Coun. Bob Day noted something else for concern.

“I went on the CVRD website and saw that the emergency mustering place here is the [Cowichan Lake Sports] Arena. That’s the only one. I don’t know what would happen if the bridge broke. But, we have discussed this before,” he said.

Coun. Tim McGonigle agreed that talk at Lake Cowichan often turns to what might happen if the car bridge became unusable.

“We have discussed it before. We’ve even talked about using the local fire hall as another option for [a gathering place]. I don’t think we came to a solution about it, but I know we do need to have something on both sides of the bridge. You hear all the time: what if? what if? Well, the bridge did fail one time. It could happen again,” he said.

Forrest doubted the fire hall would be a good place.

“I’m not sure the fire hall would be the best location for the other side of the bridge because, in an emergency, the fire hall is going to be busy with what the firemen are doing. But we should have the [Palsson Elementary] school or somewhere there,” he said.

McGonigle pointed out, “They have generators at the school, too.”

Day suggested that council ask town staff to look at the subject again.

“Maybe we could find a small grant to help us put something together,” he said, adding, “I know we have one but sometimes the public wants something to grab.”