Community Resilience to Seismic Events: A Case Study of Haida Gwaii, Canada
Pearson, Deborah Ann
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Small, remote communities situated along the Pacific Northwest coast of British Columbia are vulnerable to seismic events including earthquakes, and near- and far-field tsunamis. These have the potential to affect community sustainability. Coastal communities that adapt and address their vulnerabilities through planning and preventative actions to mitigate seismic impacts will increase their resilience to disasters thereby improving social, economic and environmental conditions. This qualitative case study explores seismic risk and the vulnerability of communities that experienced seismic events beginning with a 7.8 M earthquake in October 2012 on Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. Semi-structured interviews with local authorities and stakeholders identified a number of challenges and gaps in emergency management programs in addressing seismic risks. Recommendations to improve emergency management programs include planning to increase capacity and resources, access funding, enhance education programs, and mitigation strategies such as land use planning.