Post Tsunami Event Update

Posted: January 25, 2018

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Post Earthquake/Tsunami Event Update

January 25, 2018

The District of Tofino would like to sincerely thank all first responders and their families, emergency volunteers, community members and visitors for your outstanding response to the recent tsunami warning in the early hours of January 23rd.

We would also like to express our genuine concern for everyone impacted by the tsunami warning. We understand how stressful this situation has been for you. Please know that your safety and wellbeing are our first priority.

The purpose of this bulletin is to let you know what is currently in place, what changes we’re making immediately, and open the conversation about what we can all do to be better prepared in the future.  

In response to the tsunami warning, Tofino emergency personnel activated the Emergency Operations Centre, initiated the emergency notification system, and immediately began communicating with the public and provincial emergency officials about the evolving situation. First responders were able to direct residents to the reception center at the Community Hall staffed by Emergency Social Services volunteers, while other community members worked together in their neighbourhoods to enact their own emergency plans. 

Since the warning, District staff, first responder agencies and emergency volunteers have been debriefing to learn what worked well, what we could have done differently, and how we can improve in the future. As with any emergency event, there are lessons to be learned and opportunities to be better prepared for the next one.

If you would like to share your experience or feedback please email your comments to Your feedback will be used to inform emergency planning and communication in the future. 

District of Tofino Emergency Program  

Emergency Notifications
During emergencies, the District of Tofino communicates through One Call Now and our social media channels: @TofinoCA, @TofinoEmergency and District of Tofino Facebook.

One Call Now
We’ve heard from many community members about the performance of the One Call Now system: Some people received emails, others text messages or phone calls, and some people did not receive a notification. We are working with One Call Now to understand the issues and to learn how to make this important part of our emergency notification system more effective in the future.

Starting in March, 2018, we will begin testing the One Call Now system once a month on the same day as we test our sirens (first Friday of the month). 

Emergency Sirens
We also heard that some people either did not hear the emergency sirens, or were unclear about the purpose and location of the sirens. 

By the end of next week (February 2nd), we will have updated our Emergency Preparedness Webpage ( with more information about the intended use of sirens, what the siren tone means, the difference between tsunami warnings, advisories, and watches; and other resources.

Public Education
Through the District of Tofino’s Emergency Program, we will continue to engage the community with education programs such as the High Ground Hike, ShakeOut BC, and Emergency Preparedness Week. Visit for more preparedness information and resources.   

Personal/Neighbourhood Preparedness

The District of Tofino hopes that residents and visitors will use this event as a reminder that you should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours. Now is the time to follow through on the lessons you’ve learned, and the District of Tofino is here to help.

Following these basic steps will help you and your loved ones during an emergency.

  • Know the risks.
  • Make a plan.
  • Get a kit.

Other steps you can take immediately include:

Stay Informed
Sign up for the One Call Now system and follow @TofinoCA, @TofinoEmergency and District of Tofino Facebook for reliable sources of information during an emergency.

Meet your Neighbours 
The most immediate help following a disaster will come from those directly around you - your neighbours. Connecting with them today, and working together to prepare a plan, will mean a better response and faster recovery. 

Keith Orchiston
Emergency Program Coordinator, District of Tofino
(T) 250 725 3229 ext 708