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General News · 31st January 2018
Shaun Koopman
Cortes Islanders,

The primary purpose of this posting is to inform you that at around 10:10am Monday, February 5th I will be testing the emergency notification system (Connect Rocket) for Cortes Island. Please feel free to send your feedback following this test to preparednessstrathconard.ca

Cortes Island did not receive a warning following last week's earthquake in Alaska because you were not at risk of a tsunami.

Note that I will also be testing every other notification area, so if you signed up to receive alters for multiple areas, and especially if you signed up for all 13 areas, then I'm sorry but you're phone will be ringing quite a bit on Monday.

Our emergency notification system relies on access to the internet in order to function. In the event that the internet was unavailable then we could not send emergency notifications.

Connect Rocket cannot be used:

To communicate a warning before an earthquake strikes. Currently the province of BC does not have an earthquake early warning system in place. Emergency Management BC is working on getting one up and running in a few years that would allow a 60 second notification to be sent which would give people enough time to Drop, Cover and Hold On. Stay tuned.

Residents should not expect Connect Rocket to be used:

To communicate a post-earthquake dam failure in Campbell River. If people feel strong shaking strong enough to knock them down then they should immediately get safe by moving out of the area once the shaking stops. If they are physically unable to move away they should attempt to move to a higher area [5 meters] of a building.

Similar to the above statement, if the earthquake is triggered by a major earthquake then residents should assume that this earthquake will generate a tsunami. While the eastside of Vancouver Island is at the lowest risk from a tsunami triggered by the Cascadia Subduction Zone because the tsunami's height is predicted to be less than 2m, it is important to note that it only takes 18 inches of water to move a vehicle. Best to be on the safe side and stay away from any shoreline following a earthquake.

The term tsunami should really be tsunamiS because there are often multiple waves with the 2 or 3rd wave being the move powerful. They are rushing waves that carry debris.

As of January 1, 2018 just over 200 households had signed up for Cortes Island notifications on Connect Rocket. Today there is 535. It raises an interesting question as to why people waited until something happened to seek information about how to receive emergency information? If there is any way I can help make Cortes Islanders more aware about the services offered to them by the emergency program please let me know.

Following a major event everyone’s first priority will be to check in about the status of their friends and family (loved ones) who were not with them with the earthquake hit. Major events may disrupt traditional communications. Ham radio is one of the most efficient family communication / reunification tools. We are offering a Ham Radio certification course in the Fall on Cortes Island. Please contact the SRD's Emergency Communication Team Leaders Amanda and Barry Glickman at asthorngmail.com for more information.
Not too late to sign-up
Comment by Manda on 14th February 2018
For future communications around this. The email is https://strathconard.connectrocket.com

Thank you !
Comment by Odette Auger on 1st February 2018
Thank you Sean, for this testing of notification system. Also thank you for sharing info regularly through facebook, postering, tideline general news. Locals can also see tideline special section: emergency preparedness which will have monthly updates on next meetings~ if you have a little time and energy to share, please do!

As store bulletins have posted: you may sign up for notifications here: https://strathconard.connectrocket.com
PR skills, anyone?
Comment by Nikie on 1st February 2018
Because we're still on Tofino's automatic notification system, I actually was aware of the tsunami warning at 3:07 Tuesday morning.

I was not aware, however, of Connect Rocket.

I suppose I must have missed the previous posting last year in August - a month when many of us avoid being online. Apparently, I also missed the many notifications through the school, or store pin-up board posters, or sign-up forms at the stores, or messages broadcast on our lovely local radio station, or emails from the SSCA, or emails or phone calls from the Strathcona Emergency Program itself notifying us of this option, as I'm pretty sure I provided my email when I attended the Emergency Preparedness workshop.

Just to give a few suggestions.

I'm thrilled that an emergency notification program is now available to us, but perhaps it is a lack of promotional campaigning that is the cause of delayed sign-up, rather than " people (waiting) until something happened to seek information about how to receive emergency information."