Emergency Notifications

COVID-19 Emergency Information

In the event of an emergency, the most immediate danger should be addressed first.  

Link: EMBC Guidance for Evacuees

Locally Generated Tsunami:

For a local tsunami event, STRONG SHAKING IS THE WARNING. If you are in the inundation zone and feel an earthquake making it difficult to stand, "Drop, Cover, and Hold On", then evacuate to higher ground immediately.

A local tsunami can reach the shoreline in minutes and may not allow for an official warning to take place. In this case natural warning signs may be your only warning to take action, such as:

  • the strong shaking from the earthquake

  • a rapid and unexpected receding ocean below the expected low tide, or

  • a loud roar-like sound

To be clear, immediate life-safety is the priority when an earthquake is felt and/or the other natural warning signs of a tsunami are observed.

Self-directed evacutaion for a felt earthquake takes priority over a COVID-19 self-isolation / quarantine order.

Distant Earthquake/Tsunami: 

In the event of a Distant Earthquake the District of Tofino may receive a warning from the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) or Emergency Management BC (EMBC).

In advance of a Distant Tsunami Warning, we recommend taking the following steps:

  • Talk to your friends and neighbours about what kind of physical distancing steps you can take to keep each other safe during an evacuation.  Some people will have transportation and mobility issues that will affect their ability to evacuate. 

  • Consider homes of friends or family that are above the inundation zone that you could evacuate to, and how to do so safely and with physical distancing (staying in separate rooms, maintaining distance between families). 

  • If you don’t have access to a safe, indoor space above the inundation zone, evacuate to high ground and be prepared to shelter in place in your vehicle.  

  • The Community Hall and top of Industrial Way are both designated high ground muster points. However, don’t get out of your vehicle, and be prepared to shelter in place by having plenty of fuel, your grab-and-go bag with extra supplies of food and water, warm clothing and blankets, and any specific items you may need (hand sanitizer, medications, mobility aids, pet food, etc.)  

  • If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or think you have the virus, evacuate above inundation zone and be prepared to self-isolate in your vehicle. 

  • Further instructions will be provided over social media, the local radio at 90.1 FM, the Voyent Alert system, or email. 


Learn the difference between a local and a distant tsunami at www.tofino.ca/tsunami-informaiton.  

During an emergency event, the District of Tofino will make every effort to broadcast official tsunami alerts and information by email, telephone, and text message via the Voyent Alert! system, as well as by social media, outdoor sirens, radio and/or door-to-door contact if possible.  If you haven’t already, signup for emergency notifications now: www.tofino.ca/emergency-notifications.

For resources on household emergency plans, how to build an emergency kit, evacuation maps, and more please visit: www.tofino.ca/emergencypreparedness.  

Introducing Voyent Alert! 

In times of crisis, it's important that the public has access to trusted, timely and accurate information to ensure their own safety and that of their family and loved ones.

In response to this need, the District of Tofino has chosen Voyent Alert! to send notifications to community members in the case of a distant tsunami (remember: for a local tsunami, Strong Shaking is the Warning - learn more here). 

Best of all, if you already had an account with "One Call Now" you do not have to re-register! Simply type in your email/phone number. Each  phone number/email address is now it's own account.

How Does it Work?

  • Sign In or Register Now: You can register either by downloading the Voyent Alert! mobile app or by clicking on a link above. If you already had a One Call Now account, use the email or phone number to log into your new account. Registration is simple and anonymous.  Register by entering your postal code and following the prompts. Each phone number and email address is registered as it's own account. You can sign up as many phones or email addresses as you need to keep you and your family safe, and with two-factor authentication, you never have to remember a password!
  • Choose Your Notification Method: Voyent Alert! supports mobile apps on iPhones and Android, email-based notifications, SMS, and voice notifications to cell and land-line phones. If you have a cell phone, you can sign up to receive both text and phone calls by clicking the box that reads: 
    If you want to receive emails, register your email address separately.
  • Set Up Your Locations: You can now designate up to 10 separate locations for the system to track, in addition to your location when you're using the mobile app.  When you log in, click the “My Locations” feature to use a map-based interface to mark and label locations you want to monitor for alerts. 

    For example, you could track “Wickaninnish School”, “Chesterman Beach”, “Mom’s House” etc.

Have More Questions? Click Here for an FAQ about the system. 

What about "One Call Now"?

Existing One Call Now users have been migrated into the new system. Your privacy is paramount in this process and no information volunteered or derived is shared or used for marketing or data harvesting purposes; all information is stored in Canada and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Why is the District switching to Voyent Alert?

District staff began researching and testing new emergency notification systems in response to community feedback and debriefing after the distant tsunami warning on January 23rd, 2018.

In consultation with other Island municipalities that use the system (such as the Town of Qualicum Beach, City of Parksville and City of Nanaimo), Voyent Alert! was chosen to keep our community better informed in times of crisis.

To limit notification fatigue, Voyent Alert! allows users to choose their favourite notification method, whether you prefer emails, texts, phone calls, or mobile app alerts. Voyent Alert! also allows subscribers to create and track multiple locations such as “Wickaninnish School”, “Chesterman Beach”, or “My House” in order to deliver content that is customized to the recipient’s saved locations and circumstances - something that the One Call Now service is not capable of.

What You Can Expect

Track Multiple Locations: Voyent Alert! allows you to create and track multiple locations such as “Wickaninnish School”, “Chesterman Beach” or “Mom’s House”. Communication related to your tracked locations will be sent to you along your preferred communication channel.

No Message Fatigue: Voyent Alert’s smart alerting capabilities ensure that you will only get notified when a communication is relevant to you or one of the locations you are tracking.

Communications Your Way: Receive alerts over a wide variety of communication channels including mobile apps, text/SMS alerting, email or voice calling. You can register for all or one of them.

Privacy is Paramount: Registration is anonymous, and no information volunteered or derived is shared or used for marketing or data harvesting purposes. Locational information from your tracked locations is only used to determine its proximity to an alert event and to provide critical context within the communications (such as distance and direction).

Leaving is Easy: Both mobile applications and web-based accounts provide access to an unsubscribe feature accessed via the menu icon on the top left of the screen/page. If the service isn’t working out simply click on the “Unsubscribe” button and you won’t be hearing from us again.

Privacy Information:

The Voyent Alert! Service is inherently anonymous in nature and names or personal information are not required for service enrollment. The Company commits that any personal, locational, and / or identifying information that you may subsequently volunteer through your use of the Voyent Alert! Service will be kept strictly confidential. Such information will not be disclosed or shared with anyone other than to the organization/municipality whose communication service you are registering for, unless such disclosure is demanded by court order. (Click to view full Voyent Alert! Privacy Policy)

  • FOIPPA Statement: Voyent Alert! may collect personal information on behalf of the District of Tofino for the purpose of notifying individuals of emergency communications (s. 26 (c) of FOIPPA). Questions regarding this collection can be directed to Keith Orchiston, Emergency Program Coordinator, korchiston@tofino.ca.

Contact Us

Keith Orchiston
Emergency Program Coordinator

(T) 250-725-3229 ext. 708
(F) 250-725-3775
(E) korchiston@tofino.ca

Follow @TofinoEmergency