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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  

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:

For resources on household emergency plans, how to build an emergency kit, evacuation maps, and more please visit:  







Tofino Emergency Preparedness

Public Education

The District of Tofino is continuously looking for ways to engage the public and provide useful information to help residents and businesses become better prepared for a major emergency.

Each year, the District of Tofino participates and hosts a range of  emergency preparedness activities such as the High Ground Hike, Emergency Preparedness Week, and Shake Out BC.

Follow us on Social Media to make sure you stay in the loop when we're putting on events, workshops and activities in the community.

Will you have to evacuate? Check out the GIS Portal for your elevation.

Do you have a kit? Use the resources on this page for more info.

How will you be notified? Sign up to Emergency Notifications, and remember, during a locally generated Tsunami The Shaking Is The Warning. Follow our social media accounts and other official sources for up to date information about other events, emergencies and preparedness tips.


The Province of BC has also created PreparedBC, a one stop-shop for online preparedness information, including:

  • Hazard-specific information
  • How to build an emergency kit
  • How to prepare your household
  • How to connect with your neighbours and authorities in advance of a disaster.

Click the links on the side of this webpage for more information.

Emergency Planning

Tofino is committed to providing leadership and guidelines to meet the challenges associated with emergency management.

How High is Your Home?

CLICK HERE - Open our Public GIS Portal and click the "Parcels" and "Contours" layers (Note: These may have a bar through them while the GIS program loads, it is a lot of data to load! Please be patient.). Mouse over your home, place of work, etc. and find our if you're close to 20 meters above sea level. 

Tsunami Information

CLICK HERE - Read more about the different types of tsunami alerts, the differences between a local and distant tsunami, and where to get more information about these types of events. 

Tsunami Sirens

Tsunami sirens are designed to provide a rapid alert and are currently one of the most effective mass notification means of alerting outdoor populations. They are most useful when there is a concentrated outdoor population within the sound-range of the sirens or where there is no other means of notification, such as beach locations.

Sirens are intended to be used to alert outdoor populations to the potential threat of a distant tsunami, when there is typically time for an official warning and evacuation.

They are NOT intended to be used to notify indoor populations. Also, there may not be time to activate the sirens in the event of a local tsunami.

Tsunami’s can happen anytime. If a tsunami warning is received by the Distirict of Tofino during the middle of the night we will used every notification method at our disposal to alert you, including activating the sirens.

Siren Testing

The District of Tofino tests the tsunami sirens silently every day. We audibly test the sirens on the first Friday of each month. The test siren will state that it is just a test and play the "Westminster Chime", which is the international "all clear tone" in emergency warning systems.

To hear the "Westminster Chime" click here  

Emergency Sirens

During a real event, a loud wailing tone will be played over the siren and a message stating the level of alert and instructions will be broadcast.

To hear the "Emergency Siren" click here

Emergency Notifications

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.

Learn More and Sign Up for Emergency Notifications

Social Media

The District of Tofino uses our official social media accounts to communicate during emergency events. For accurate, up to date information, click:

Evacuation Map

Click Image to Enlarge

Preparedness Tips

TIP: Stay informed! 

Start by following the reliable news sources (like those found on this page).

Sign up for District Emails or the Voyent Alert Notification System to receive emergency notifications to your phone or email.

Contact the District of Tofino to find out how we share alerts and instructions during an emergency, whether it's via our email notifications, social media, or sirens. The most important thing is to seek out credible sources so you can make good decisions during a disaster. 

TIP: Make an emergency kit for your home and your car! 

Disasters don't always happen when we're sitting at home next to our stash of bottled water and army rations. Make simple "On the Go" bags to keep in your home or your car that include food and water, first aid supplies, flashlight and blankets. Keep your vehicle gassed up just incase you have to evacuate in a hurry. 

TIP: Meet your neighbours! 

We're all in it together when a disaster hits. The most immediate help following a disaster will come from those directly around - your neighbours. Connecting with them today, and working together to prepare, will mean a better response and faster recovery.

Contact Us

Keith Orchiston
Emergency Program Coordinator

(T) 250-725-3229 ext. 708
(F) 250-725-3775