GEO 210 University Canada West Geography Prepareness Plan

GEOG 210 Assignment 3 Hazard Preparedness Plan

Overview: For this assignment you will develop a hazard preparedness plan. The project will

focus on a specific natural hazard that you might face in British Columbia.1 You have already

identified a hazard that you would like to focus on in assignment 2 and now need to develop a

detailed preparedness plan describing the actions you will take to prepare for such an event.

You will consider how such a hazard might affect you in your everyday life and explain what

steps you would take before, during and after the occurrence of such a hazard to minimize its risk

impacts. Although there will be similarities in the natural hazards faced, each individual

preparedness plan will be unique in respect of describing the geographic risk environment (e.g.

the specific neighbourhood you live in or places you frequently visit) and your personal risk

profile (e.g. household arrangements, circumstances that impact susceptibility or capacity, or

activities you engage in that might amplify risk).

Learning outcomes

In completing this hazard preparedness project students will be able to:

  • Assess a key natural hazard they might face in their everyday life
  • Evaluate the personal and local community risks of this natural hazard
  • Recognise the steps required to respond to a hazardous situation
  • Develop skills in hazard education and communication of risk
  • Develop personal resilience to cope with potential future hazards
  • Instructions

    Your hazard preparedness plan will be completed in four key steps as follows. Use headings and

    sub-headings within your plan and note that page numbers provide a guide to the amount of text

    required for each section (assuming 12pt font, 1.5 spacing), any images would be additional.

    Summary of hazard and personal risk impact statement (~1-1.5 pages): In the introduction to

    your project you should provide a summary of the hazard and outline how this will impact you

    and your specific community. For this part of the assignment, you may draw upon or expand on

    the information that you compiled for Assignment 2 (Local Hazard Assessment). Your hazard

    summary should provide key information such as the type of hazard you are focusing on, why

    this is potential threat to the area you live in and what type of hazard scenario you are preparing

    for. For example, in the case of an earthquake you might explain that you are preparing for

    scenario of a megathrust earthquake over above 9 magnitude. or for floods, a 100-year flood risk

    scenario. Your risk assessment will build upon part 3 of your local hazard assessment

    assignment to clearly outline the risks that you will face in your specific community from such a

    1 If you are currently living elsewhere it is fine to focus on a hazard in that local community.

    GEOG 210 Hazard Preparedness Plan


    hazard event. You should mention here a range of potential hazard outcomes. For example, if

    your primary focus is an earthquake this would not only produce ground shaking and structural

    damage but might also trigger a landslide if you live in an area of steep slopes, or it might

    generate a tsunami risk if you live on low-lying land near the coast. Each hazard will produce

    risks specific to a particular location. Make sure you do a thorough search in exploring likely

    hazard impacts in your community. This will enable you to identify relative risk exposure and

    susceptibility in relation to specific locations and you can later apply this information in your

    hazard plan. For example, if some areas are more likely to be impacted by liquefaction in an

    earthquake you might want to avoid this location, or if a particular road or highway is likely to

    be exposed to flooding or debris floods this would influence your evacuation options. In

    describing the local geographic risk, you may wish to include maps/images.

    Detailed hazard action plan (~3-4 pages): In the main part of your assignment you will outline

    the steps that you will take to be prepared for your hazard and in response to its occurrence. You

    need to address steps that you would take before, during and after your hypothetical hazard

    event. In researching this step, you should refer to documents on hazard preparedness and

    identify only those steps that are relevant to your specific hazard and personal situation. In the

    resources section below, links to some general hazard preparedness resources for Canada and

    British Columbia are given to get you started in thinking through some of the key things to

    consider. However, it is important that you also consult hazard preparedness resources relevant

    to the specific hazard you are focusing on and to the particular area you live in (e.g. Surrey,

    North Vancouver, Burnaby, etc.). For example, it is not enough to say you will identify

    evacuation routes or locate a safe place to shelter; you need to identify such routes or places in

    your local area, and you might even think about including maps to show these. You will also

    need to modify your list to consider the different settings and situations where you are exposed to

    hazards and should be specific about the steps you are taking in relation to each hazard scenario.

    Some tips for developing you plan are listed below:

  • Try to imagine yourself in each type of hazard situation and think about what would be
  • useful to cope with the specific risks and disruptions likely to be encountered.

  • Apply your steps to your own personal situation and think about how you would assist
  • others in your household.

  • Be creative in imagining the different scenarios that you may need to plan for, such as
  • when you are at home, work, on campus or during recreational activities.

  • In relation to during and after the hazard event, consider how you would evacuate and
  • where you would get support or reconnect with family.

  • Think about situations where people were not well prepared and identify the extra steps
  • that could have been taken in such cases.

  • Discuss your plan with others to make sure you have covered all scenarios and steps. We
  • will also discuss this in the next review session, and you should have a summary of steps

    by this point to elicit feedback on your plan from others.

    GEOG 210 Hazard Preparedness Plan


    Personal Emergency Kit (~1 page): Compile an emergency kit of items that you will need during

    your hazard event. You should include an image for each item and a brief description of why you

    need this item or how you intend to use it in the event of a hazard occurring. This kit should not

    simply be copied from another source but should be personalized for your own use in relation to

    the hazard scenarios you have identified. In the past some students have chosen to actually put

    together a kit and photograph this with an accompanying description, while others have compiled

    individual images from other sources and added their own description. Either option in fine.

    Infographic/ poster (~1 page): Prepare a visual summary of your key hazard preparedness steps.

    Think of this like a public information poster advising people in your local community of the

    hazard threat and giving very clear directions about key actions they should take before, during

    and after this event. There are lots of examples from emergency planning agencies that will give

    you some inspiration, but this should be your own original work and should be written in your

    own words. If you copy a poster from another source this will not be awarded any marks. There

    are a number of free online infographic applications you can use to develop your visual summary

    and make it look professional (e.g. Piktochart, Canva). A hand-drawn poster is also fine if you

    want to get creative. The key thing is to clearly relay your message and demonstrate what you

    have learned about hazard preparedness in a concise and effective way. Your poster should be

    both informative and eye-catching! Once you have prepared your poster you can either copy it

    into the main document or submit it as a separate file to the eLearn folder.

    Assignment format and references

    The project should be prepared as follows:

  • Cover page with student name, ID, title of project and image illustrating your topic
  • Text should be 6-7 pages (excl. bibliography) (1.5 spaced, 12pt font, ~2000-2500 words)
  • Use headings and sub-headings to demarcate key sections
  • Maps, images and diagrams are additional (add title/ source for these)
  • Carefully edit your submission for grammar, spelling and formatting
  • Use proper citation format (APA style; in-text and bibliography at the end)
  • Useful Resources

    The following resources may be useful to get you started on your preparedness plan, but you will

    need to find further resources related to your specific hazard and local community. You should

    not just replicate what is in these documents by copying the text directly without modifying it to

    your own hazard situation and scenario.

    Your Emergency Preparedness Guide, 2012, Public Safety Canada:…

    Prepared B.C. Website, Government of British Columbia


    GEOG 210 Hazard Preparedness Plan


    Grading Rubric

    The assignment is marked out of 20 points. Submissions will be evaluated using the general

    course grading rubric (see eLearn) and in line with the specific project grading criteria (see

    below). Marks will be deducted for partial completion of work or late submissions. Marks will

    be deducted for poorly formatted work and for grammatical and spelling errors. Zero marks will

    be given for work that is copied from other sources, or from other students, and this will be very

    carefully checked!

    Elements Assessed competencies Marks

    Step 1 Concise summary of the natural hazard, including why it occurs in

    the region, and the likely magnitude and frequency of such an event.


    Accurate assessment personal risk impacts (exposure, vulnerability)

    related to living arrangements, local environment, activities, etc.


    Step 2 Hazard action plan is comprehensive, including before, during and

    after steps, and shows consideration of multiple hazard scenarios.


    Hazard plan is well-adapted to reflect personal situations and local

    geographic settings rather than representing a generalised plan


    Demonstrates has undertaken in-depth research on emergency

    planning in their local community drawing on relevant sources.


    Step 3 Emergency kit is detailed, personalised and each item is clearly

    displayed with the purpose described.


    Step 4 Quality, originality and visual effectiveness of poster in concisely

    conveying key hazard response steps.


    TOTAL 20 pts


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