May 10, 2017 Return to Headlines

Know Your Disaster Response Routes

by Colleen Smith |

COQUITLAM, BC, May 10, 2017 – During Emergency Preparedness Week, May 7 – 13, the City of Coquitlam is encouraging residents and businesses to be aware of and understand the use of disaster response routes in our community. 

Many people incorrectly believe that the routes identified by a Disaster Response Route sign are for public evacuation during a disaster or emergency. 

However, that is not the case – these routes are strictly for the use of authorized first responders or other response personnel during a disaster or large-scale emergency. Keeping these routes available only for these uses ensures priority for emergency services and supplies coming into and leaving our community.

Following the declaration of a local or provincial state of emergency that requires the activation of the Disaster Response Plan, public service broadcasts as well as the City’s website and social media channels will provide citizens with updated status reports and information on what routes are activated and what they will be used for, as well as which city streets are available for non-emergency traffic.

Coquitlam’s Disaster Response Routes are:

  • Coast Meridian Road,
  • David Avenue,
  • Pinetree Way,
  • Mariner Way,
  • Barnet Highway, and
  • Clarke Road.

Learning to recognize these routes is an important step in preparing for an earthquake or other disaster. More information on these routes and the City’s disaster response route map can be viewed at coquitlam.ca/disasterresponse

Emergencies and disasters can occur anywhere, at any time and governments and rescue agencies may not be able to get to you immediately. We all have a responsibility to do what we can to be prepared and take care of ourselves and our loved ones for at least 72 hours after a disaster. 

The steps are simple:

  1. Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to your community and the region can help you better prepare.
  2. Make a plan – It will help you and your family know what to do in the event of an emergency.
  3. Arrange an out-of-area contact person – This should be a contact person who lives outside B.C. who would not be affected by a major event, such as an earthquake. The out of area contact is a person who will receive check-ins from you and your family members when local telephone service doesn’t work. Ensure each family member has that person's number with them all the time by completing an out-of-area contact card.
  4. Assemble emergency supplies – During an emergency, we may not be able to access basic supplies and may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Visit www.coquitlam.ca/26 for emergency preparedness tips. 

For more public safety and emergency preparedness information, including free personal preparedness training, visit www.coquitlam.ca/ep. Be a Hero, Be Prepared. 

About Emergency Preparedness Week
This annual, national event takes place the first full week of May and is coordinated by Public Safety Canada, in close collaboration with the provinces, territories and partners. It is meant to help Canadians take action to protect themselves and their families during emergencies. Through the program, Canadians have learned to know their risks, make a plan, and get an emergency kit. gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC.


Media contact:
Greg Kanya
Manager, Coquitlam Emergency Management Office
City of Coquitlam