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Editorial: How can businesses be earthquake-prepared?

You’ve heard it before —”are you ready for ‘The Big One’?” What does being ‘ready’ really mean? Maybe you’ve prepared yourself and your family by making a plan in the event of an earthquake and putting together an emergency kit.

But have you thought about your livelihood? Ninety-eight per cent of Canadian employer businesses are small businesses, employing almost 50per cent of the workforce. As a business owner or employee of a business— what can you do to get ready?

The 2011 Tohoku earthquake in northeastern Japan was a record-breaker on many levels. Most terribly, it killed almost 16,000 people and caused a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The disaster also cost $360 billion to the economy. Large infrastructural losses and the displacement of entire communities not only took a toll on Japan’s economy, but also many other countries linked through production networks.


Vancouver Island has thousands of tremors that go unfelt every year, which indicates a slow slip may be taking place, where the Pacific Ocean crust slides under the crust that North America sits on. As a result of this slow slip, stress has been building up for centuries, and at some point, the stress will most likely be relieved with an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 or higher (Tohoku was a magnitude 9.0-9.1).

An earthquake of this size would change Vancouver Island in fundamental ways. From an economic perspective, if businesses are unable to continue operations after an earthquake event, the effective flow of critical products and services will be disrupted. Is Vancouver Island ready?

World leader in earthquake risk management, Peter Yanev, will break things down for Vancouver Island organizations at this year’s State of the Island Summit. Armed with best practices based on 45 years of experience, field investigation of more than 12 natural disasters, and the outcomes of hundreds of projects for organizations, Yanev will answer this often-pondered question about earthquake preparedness for business owners: “If I could only do three things, what should I do?”

Join Peter Yanev and other leading presenters at the State of the Island Summit, Oct. 25 and 26 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo. For more information visit


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