Thursday, July 20, 2017

Is the North Shore Ready for Fire?

Like everyone else I've been watching the wildfires in the interior of BC, and even had family members unable to get to their home near Kelowna.  It's all a good reminder that we're also sitting on the edge of forest, and sometimes the woods get pretty hot and dry.

Here on the North Shore we have a regional body that coordinates emergency services - North Shore Emergency Management. From their offices above the RCMP detachment in North Vancouver they offer workshops, training, and try to anticipate what kinds of disasters might befall us, and how we might survive.  They do good work.

Still though, if you scour their site you'll see a whole lot of "be prepared" advice - fill up your closets with food, water, and Grab and Go bags, and don't forget about your cats and dogs -  but not much about what is in place after the Big One arrives.

In working with the NSEM people the one thing I took away is that you really need to think about your own circumstance, how you might find yourself isolated if one or more bridges are blocked, and a realisation that it will quickly come down to every person for themselves.

As much as we might snicker at the Preppers south of the border,  we should understand that our local and provincial governments probably won't have resources available to help everyone who needs it.

This month, as soon as this year's fires abate, you can expect a series of stories describing a lack of resources for people who have lost homes or jobs,  shortfalls in government services, and complaints about mean-spirited insurance companies.  And, if we're lucky, an examination of how many of the recommendations that followed the 2003 Firestorm Review were actually acted on.

In the meantime we should all be talking to our elected officials about what we can expect in the event of an earthquake or major fire.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Sunny Days!

(Not a reference to either Trudeau or Lighthouse.)

We have a new government in BC, one which the Vancouver Sun is already painting as Dangerous and Socialist.

We have survived a sesquicentennial, that most pointless of celebrations, with only minor faux pas, aside from irritating the peoples who lived here before 1867.

The Grouse Grind is open, thousands of weekend hikers have come out of hibernation, and North Shore Rescue are working overtime to keep up with the demand.

Al Neil's cabin is being renovated, and kids of all ages are heading into sports, academic, Bible, or music camps.

Lynn Valley Days are a faint memory, but Harmony Arts is fast approaching.

So, is anyone still thinking about municipal politics?  Or does the North Shore find it impossible to tear itself away from the Bar-B-Que?