Langley Emergency Program Coordinator Ginger Sherlock with a new addition to the program, a portable radio antenna that can be raised as high as 85 feet. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

VIDEO: Preparing for the worst: Langley rehearses for disaster

Think ‘Katrina,’ think ‘hurricane Sandy,’ disaster coordinator warns

If the worst happens, Langley residents won’t be able to rely on telephones, whether they use landlines or cellphones.

Power will, almost certainly, be out and the internet will be down.

Making contact with the outside world will have to be done using generators and a mobile antenna that can be raised as high as 85 feet to make voice and digital connections.

At the Langley City firehall one weekend in June, a group of volunteers were rehearsing for the moment they hope never comes, hunched over computer screens and powerful radio receivers during a 24-hour simulation by the the Langley Emergency Program (LEP) as part of an International Field Day exercise.

While that was underway in one room, in another, visitors were welcome to educate themselves about disaster preparedness with emergency program coordinator Ginger Sherlock.

“When you think of Katrina, when you think of Hurricane Sandy, that’s what we’re practising for,” Sherlock said.

Sherlock said there have been some significant additions to the emergency program, one being the portable radio tower looming overt the firehall in the back parking lot.

“It goes up to 85 feet, Sherlock explained, “but we only have it up to 50 feet because we would have to anchor it against the wind [if it was fully extended].”

It means that, even if the radio antenna permanently attached to the firehall roof is unable to work for whatever reason, communication can be maintained anywhere with the generator-powered mobile tower.

As well, this year, the radio links went beyond voice communication to add digital connectivity.

READ MORE: Pet first aid kicks off emergency preparedness efforts in Langley

During a previous May rehearsal in Murrayville, Sherlock cautioned Langley residents need to be “ready to camp” outdoors for two weeks in the event of a major disaster because they won’t be able to count on outside agencies and resources to take care of them, she elaborated.

That means having provisions in place for shelter, food, clothing, water, and sanitation to carry the family through for that length of time.

The Emergency Plan for Langley is based on an ‘all hazards’ approach, and is tested once a year by staff from both municipalities and the BC Ministry of Public Safety, BC Ministry of Health, Emergency Management BC , RCMP, BC Ambulance,and other agencies.

The Langley emergency program itself is a joint program run by the City and Township of Langley, which started in 1996. Local governments were mandated by the province to ensure the community was ready to respond and recover from potential risks.

For more information and emergency tips, people can visit www.langleyprepared.ca.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

Volunteer David Jenkins maintains a radio link to the outside world during a simulated disaster at the Langley City firehall. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Just Posted

LETTER: Langley pool staff outstanding

A Langley woman thanks the team at Al Anderson Memorial Pool for all they do

LANGLEY’S WHAT’S IN STORE: Entrepreneurs make the shortlist

Know of a new business in town, one expanding, moving, or hosting a community event, let us know…

Otter Co-op breaks ground on bigger and better gas bar in Aldergrove

‘Green’ fuel coming to the gas bar following four months of renovations

PHOTOS: One of Langley wildlife artist’s last gallery shows

Lifelong painter Norman Jorgenson is being recognized in the Langley Arts Council gallery

Cadet Camp sees Langley Mounties share fun and tips with kids

The camp included everything from self defense and first aid to meeting the bomb squad

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read