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A comparison of earthquake preparedness plans in three British Columbia school districts Baldwin, Pamela M. 1994

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A COMPARISON OF EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS PLANS IN THREE BRITISH COLUMBIA SCHOOL DISTRICTS by PAMELA M. BALDWIN B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1991 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Political Science We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1994 Copyright Pamela M. Baldwin, 1994 MASTER OF ARTS in In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT This thesis examines disaster policy at the local government level. Specifically, earthquake preparedness planning in three British Columbia school districts is examined. The disaster policy cycle and seismic risk in British Columbia are also addressed. Prior to the late 1980's, the Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley school districts had not adopted specific measures to prepare for an earthquake. The Loma Prieta earthquake in California in 1989 increased earthquake awareness in British Columbia substantially. Thus, the Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley school districts were faced with the same problem: the formulation and development of earthquake preparedness plans. One might expect that since all three school districts were faced with the same problem that a convergent approach to earthquake preparedness planning would be taken. However, the case studies reveal significant divergence in terms of earthquake preparedness. In relation to earthquake preparedness planning in the three school districts case studies, four factors are analyzed: amount of money spent, centralized approach versus decentralized approach, reliance on external expertise and thoroughness of the plan. Four possible explanations for the divergence of earthquake preparedness plans at the school district level are discussed in this thesis. These explanations are I l l influence of interest groups, influence of key personnel, availability of community wealth, and magnitude of risk. The data base of for this thesis consists of the earthquake preparedness planning experience in the Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley school districts. Relevant school district managers, staff, teachers, school administrators and parents were interviewed. Interviewees were chosen to represent departments or committees that were directly responsible for disaster preparedness or had some stake, direct or indirect, in the issues posed by earthquake preparedness. Documentary sources, government reports and statistics and newspaper articles were also used. Several conclusions can be drawn regarding emergency preparedness at the school district level. First, if magnitude of risk is significant and recognized, then the natural disaster problem has a greater chance of being addressed in an adequate manner. Second, if interest groups focus on a natural disaster problem, then there is more likelihood of more thorough action being taken than if interest groups were not involved. Third, current fiscal restraint indicates that funding, both public and private, will affect the thoroughness of emergency preparedness planning. Fourth, the preferences and actions of government officials cannot be ignored in regard to emergency preparedness planning. The degree to which natural disaster problems occupy the scope of government officials' preferences and actions will determine the extent to which disaster policy receives attention in many instances. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iv List of Tables v List of Figures vi Acknowledgement vii Chapter One Introduction 1 The Nature of Disaster Policy 2 Seismic Risk 7 School Districts and Earthquake Preparedness 12 Theoretical Approaches 16 Methodological Notes 25 Outline 26 Chapter Two Vancouver Case Study 28 Possible Explanations 40 Chapter Three Coquitlam Case Study 45 Possible Explanations 53 Chapter Four Langley Case Study 56 Possible Explanations 61 Chapter Five Findings 64 Explanations 69 Concluding Observations 73 Recommendations 75 References Cited 76 Appendix A 80 Appendix B 81 Appendix C 82 Appendix D 83 Appendix E 84 Appendix F 85 LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Household Income in Coquitlam District Municipality, Langley District Municipality and Vancouver Table 2. Incidence of Low Income in Coquitlam District Municipality, Langley District Municipality and Vancouver. Table 3. Population Density in Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley. Table 4. Comparison of Vancouver School Board's Master Emergency Preparedness Plan Budget Estimate with Funding Provided. Table 5. Low Income Distribution in East Side and West Side Vancouver. Table 6. Comparison of Earthquake Preparedness Planning Outcomes in Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley School Districts. Table 7. Comparison of Thoroughness of Earthquake Preparedness Plans in Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley School Districts. v i LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Seismic Activity in British Columbia 8 Figure 2. Greater Vancouver Regional District 9 Figure 3. Vancouver School District 29 Figure 4. Coquitlam School District 46 Figure 5. Langley School District 57 v i LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Seismic Activity in British Columbia 8 Figure 2. Greater Vancouver Regional District 9 Figure 3. Vancouver School District 29 Figure 4. Coquitlam School District 46 Figure 5. Langley School District 57 V l l ACKNOWLEDGEMENT A note of thanks goes to my Mom and Dad, Albert and Kathleen Baldwin, for their encouragement. A big thankyou goes to Caroline Baldwin and Doug Hilmer for all the computer assistance, to Stephen Baldwin and Arlene Strom for the laughs, to Allen Sens for being there and to my supervisor, Kathryn Harrison. 1 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Disaster policy often calls to mind scenarios of catastrophic destruction. For instance, one emergency planner described the possible destruction of an earthquake affecting the B.C. coast in the following manner. Schools would collapse and kill children; ferries would be unable to berth; major roads, airports and bridges would be impassable; fires would rage uncontrollably and mayhem would last for days from Vancouver to Hope (Munro, 1994b). In short, there is much at stake in the event of a natural disaster. Consequently, disaster policy incorporates a broad spectrum of components ranging from building code regulations intended to prevent structural collapse and restrain hazardous, nonstructural elements to the coordination and allocation of emergency preparedness services. Inherent in disaster policy at all government levels, federal, provincial and local, is the focus on minimizing casualties and property damage in the event of a natural disaster. Not surprisingly "disaster specialists have increasingly emphasized the importance of preventing or ameliorating losses" (May and Williams, 1986:1). 2 While recent federal and provincial government initiatives in disaster policy, such as the new B.C. Provincial Government Emergency Program Act (S.B.C. 1993, c.41), deserve scholarly attention, this thesis focuses on disaster policy at the local level only. Specifically, earthquake preparedness planning in selected British Columbia school districts is examined. First, however, a discussion of the disaster policy cycle and of seismic risk in B.C. is necessary before proceeding to a discussion of school districts and earthquake preparedness planning. This chapter goes on to review theoretical approaches and methodology and concludes with an outline of the thesis. THE NATURE OF DISASTER POLICY As Rossi et al. (1981:1-2) argue, "there is nothing we can do that will seriously alter the geology, hydrology, or meteorology of the earth. Our response to environmental hazards must therefore, of necessity, assume one of two forms: either we take steps to avoid disasters in advance, or we develop measures to deal with their effects in the aftermath." This thesis addresses the preparedness aspect of disaster policy. Specifically, emergency preparedness in regard to earthquake risk is examined. There are four distinct activities in the disaster policy cycle: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Of the four, response and recovery often receive the most attention from policy makers, the media and academics because they involve highly visible activities. Response involves the mobilization of people and institutions, ranging from local police and municipal authorities to provincial and federal government agencies to address immediate problems in the wake of a natural 3 disaster. Such problems include search and rescue operations, debris removal, fire fighting and provision of emergency resources such as food, shelter, clothing and medical attention. Recovery involves a period of local, provincial and/or federal effort to put lives and property back together to at least pre-disaster conditions. Restoration of repairable and restorable structures and major construction are examples of recovery activities. Hazard mitigation includes decisions and activities that could prevent or alleviate the impact of a natural disaster before the event occurs. Such measures include building codes, land use regulations, flood insurance, earthquake insurance, and public education. In the case of natural hazards involving wind, water and earth movement, mitigation often involves reducing the damage from periodic impacts in exposed areas by acting on structures and human activities (Godschalk and Brower, 1985:64). Preparedness entails measures taken to ensure or to improve response capabilities, especially during the emergency period. Preparedness measures include installing warning and communication systems, stockpiling supplies, maintaining resource inventories, devising special hazard plans, and performing test exercises such as evacuation drills. "More generally, preparedness involves the enhancement of governmental, private organizational, and individual capabilities to cope with disasters" (May and Williams, 1986:9). In a study of disaster policy and the 1964 Alaska earthquake, Selkregg et al. (1984:4) argue that preparedness and mitigation have historically eluded most public policy makers. The reasons they cite include: fragmentation of responsibility over 4 policy; lack of support from the general public, interest groups, and public leaders; inadequate financial and human resources in relation to the magnitude of the problem; uncertainty about the level of risk and potential social and economic loss; and an overall general weakness in the planning and implementing process at all government levels. Yet, mitigation and preparedness are as important as response and recovery. Without adequate mitigation and preparedness measures, response and recovery to natural disasters is made much more difficult. And herein lies the political dilemma of disaster policymaking. Response and recovery are the most politically salient options, but do little to address long-term or future natural disaster losses, both economic and human. Developing and implementing adequate mitigation and preparedness plans depends on the effectiveness of the administration responsible for their management (Selkregg, et al., 1984:4). As mentioned above, disaster policy is highly affected by political salience. Rossi et al. (1982), found through two thousand interviews with policy makers that natural hazard problems ranked very low in political salience. Drabek et al. (1983), found a comparable lack of political urgency in their study of earthquake risk in two states. They attribute this lack of urgency to the tendency of political processes to be reactive rather than proactive or anticipatory. Similarly, Godschalk and Brower (1985:70) argue that "public officials are reluctant to regulate development and invest public resources on the basis of low probability disasters, even though they may be very damaging when they occur." The economic, fiscal and political costs of mitigation and preparedness are discrete and manifest, while mitigation and preparedness 5 benefits are diffuse and realized in the future, if at all. However, in the wake of a natural disaster, the salience of mitigation and preparedness rises significantly. May and Williams also contend that disaster policy has low political salience in the world of normal politics, but immediately following a natural hazard disaster policy has high political salience, often due to extensive media coverage and to the actions of politicians. In fact, May and Williams argue that major natural disasters appear to have a ratchet effect on disaster policy. That is, disaster policy in any given time period is most likely to be defined in relation to the most recent natural hazard. The result is that disaster policy is more generally skewed toward extreme events (May and Williams, 1986:3). Since there is a limit to the funds available for response and recovery activities, properly developed and exercised preparedness plans can go a long way in reducing hazard risks, both human and economic. In their California study, Rossi et al. (1982:15) found that Californians have done little to prepare or protect themselves from natural disasters. Only 25 percent of the study population considered getting earthquake insurance, and only 10 percent actually carried earthquake insurance. About 25 percent of the study population chose to live in high risk locations such as on the sides of hills or in the base of a canyon. About 40 percent of the households sampled did not have first aid kits, 60 percent did not have a fire extinguisher in the house and 80 percent did not have a smoke alarm installed. If one extrapolates from the California case to that of B.C., the argument might be made that since no significant damage has been incurred in the Greater Vancouver Regional District due to earthquakes this century, Greater Vancouver Regional District residents would not see earthquakes as a serious community problem 6 either. In fact, Ventura and Schuster (1993:266) estimate that only about 50 percent of people living in the Greater Vancouver Regional District are aware of the seismic hazards in the region. An even smaller figure often percent is estimated to be prepared for an earthquake (Munro, 1994b). Of particular importance are the earthquake preparedness plans formulated by school districts in order to avoid casualties and to reduce injuries and property damage in the event of an earthquake. Earthquake preparedness planning at the school district level merits attention for two reasons. First, schools are public buildings and during operating hours are responsible for the safety of a large number of people. Second, school districts are special purpose local governments in that they look after education only. Education in British Columbia has evolved as a joint provincial and local function, although local school districts have considerable discretion (Bish, 1990:49). School district trustees are elected at large and the number of trustees per school board is three, five, seven or nine depending on the size of the school district. "Under the School Act, trustees must appoint a district superintendent, who acts as chief administrator, and a secretary-treasurer, who is responsible for official and fiscal records' (Bish, 1990:51). School district managers are responsible to school board trustees. In this regard, the formulation of earthquake preparedness programs offers an opportunity to examine the varied responses of school district administrations to the policy problem of natural disasters. 7 SEISMIC RISK The region under consideration in this thesis is the Greater Vancouver Regional District, which encompasses a number of school districts including Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley. The Greater Vancouver Regional District is located within the southwest region of British Columbia. A seismic activity map of British Columbia is on the following page, followed by a map of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The southwest region of British Columbia is considered the most active earthquake region in Canada. A brief discussion of plate tectonics is helpful in explaining why and where earthquakes are likely to occur. Plate tectonics, a process that has been on-going for millions of years, involves movement of very large plates of the earth's crust. These plates average about 100 km thick and thousands of kilometres across. Unlike California's San Andreas Fault, where two separate plates are sliding past each other with the intersection sitting very close to the earth's surface, the Pacific Northwest is characterized by a subduction zone where one plate is trying to slide underneath another (Watts, 1994). Earthquakes that may pose a hazard in the Greater Vancouver Regional District can occur in three distinct zones: crustal earthquakes, deeper earthquakes within the subducted plate and very large subduction earthquakes on the boundary between two plates. Five areas of plate activity bear significance to the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The Juan de Fuca plate and the Pacific plate, located about 200 km off Vancouver Island are diverging along the Juan de Fuca ridge. Further east, the Juan de Fuca plate is converging with and sliding beneath the North American plate. A smaller plate, the Explorer, is also sliding beneath the North American plate. s Figure 1. Seismic Activity in British Columbia Source: Farley, 1979. Pg. 33 9 Figure 2. Greater Vancouver Regional District Source: Ventura and Schuster, 1993. Pg. 261. 10 Simultaneously, the Juan de Fuca plate is sliding past the Explorer plate along the Nootka Fault. The Pacific plate and the North American plate meet along the Queen Charlotte Fault, which in 1949 was the site of Canada's largest earthquake to date {Ventura and Schuster, 1993:264). Scientists have debated for some time whether or not the Juan de Fuca plate was stuck. Recent evidence indicates that the plate is stuck and if jarred free would slip about 13.5 metres generating a tidal wave about 5 metres high. Of all the subduction zones in the world, the 1000 km seam that stretches from northern Vancouver Island to the northern tip of California has been quiet the longest. This area has not experienced a major earthquake in 29 years (Munro, 1994a). Several large earthquakes in the past 120 years are evidence of the continuing movements between the North American continent and the Pacific Ocean floor plates. These movements result in the build-up of an enormous amount of energy in the rocks which is suddenly released in the form of earthquakes. Due to geological features of the region, there is a very good chance that British Columbia will experience a large earthquake in the near future (Ventura and Schuster, 1993:259). Ongoing scientific investigations indicate that very large earthquakes greater than Richter magnitude M8 may have occurred in the region at intervals of 300 to 500 years. Scientific predictions based on recorded earthquakes since 1872, indicate that a future earthquake with even a magnitude of M7.5 on the Richter Scale could pose substantial risk to Vancouver Island and to the Greater Vancouver Regional District. For example, in 1946 an earthquake of M7.3 caused serious damage in Courtenay on Vancouver Island. Thirty schools in the Courtenay School District were damaged and 11 at one school a heavy unreinforced masonry chimney crashed through the roof into a classroom. Fortunately, however, it was Sunday morning and the buildings were empty. The impact of a major earthquake on human life and property is the result of a complex interaction between geophysical and man-made factors which include size and depth of the earthquake; location of the epicentre or fault rupture in relation to population centres; concentration of development in high risk areas; generation of fires or tidal waves; type and age of buildings; occupancy level of buildings affected; time of day the earthquake occurs; degree of preparedness and efficiency of rescue operations. For example, school districts containing a large number of unreinforced masonry buildings are at greater risk from seismic hazards than school districts where buildings are mostly constructed of reinforced concrete or wood frames. Similarly, particular districts may be at greater risk due to certain geological features. For instance, areas in the Fraser Delta may be subjected to considerable ground motion amplification and liquefaction. Liquefaction occurs when water saturated, clay-free sands or silts are transformed from a solid to a liquid state. Liquefaction occurs in certain parts of deltas, river channels and uncompacted land fills (Ventura and Schuster, 1993:266). A large earthquake on the outer coast of B.C. may also generate a tidal wave or tsunami. Tsunamis are large ocean waves generated by an offset of the sea floor caused by faulting or large submarine landslides. Huge waves, which can travel thousands of kilometres at velocities of 500 to 650 km/hr, can be generated by such undersea movement. "Sheltered areas can expect to see maximum water levels less than three meters. Low levels areas such as Richmond, which are sheltered from 12 the direct effects of tsunamis, will be subjected to threats of flooding if a tsunami arrives at high tide" (Ventura and Schuster, 1993). SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS Prior to the late 1980's, no school district in the Greater Vancouver Regional District had adopted specific measures in order to prepare for an earthquake. A small booklet put out by the B.C. Provincial Ministry of Education in the early 1980's was the only resource provided to schools and was largely inadequate in guiding earthquake preparedness planning. School district managers in Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley indicated in personal interviews for this study that government response to earthquake preparedness planning was very unsatisfactory and consequently meant that school districts were on their own in terms of addressing earthquake preparedness. In fact, the B.C. Provincial Government did not undertake the development of earthquake preparedness measures until 1988 (Ministry of Attorney General, 1993:1). The 1984 Katz Bill in California, which controls emergency preparedness planning for California schools, requires specific measures to be taken in regard to earthquake preparedness (California Education Code, s. 35295). A brief discussion of the California requirements may be helpful in order to understand what the Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley school districts had to develop in regard to earthquake preparedness plans. First, California requires that schools develop a school building disaster plan to maintain the safety and care of students and staff in the event of a natural disaster. The plan should outline roles, responsibilities, and procedures for 13 students and staff, and it should be ready for implementation at all times. Second, schools should conduct periodic drills in the "drop and cover" procedure for students and staff. School administrators should document these exercises in the same way they record fire drills. Third, schools should accomplish preparedness and mitigation tasks to ensure the safety of students and staff before, during and after an earthquake. Fourth, schools should provide educational programs for students and staff so that they are trained to follow the procedures outlined in the earthquake emergency plan. Fifth, individual schools should be prepared to serve as possible shelters for the community after a disaster. There are no such requirements in British Columbia, not even in the new 1993 Emergency Program Act with the exception that new school buildings are required to be 30 percent structurally stronger than regular buildings. Earthquake awareness increased in British Columbia largely in response to the Loma Prieta earthquake that hit the San Francisco area on October 17,1989, resulting in over $10 billion (US) in damage and in the death of over 60 people. Increased awareness resulted in the recognition that school districts were in need of earthquake preparedness plans. Thus, throughout the Greater Vancouver Regional District, school districts were faced with the same problem: the formulation and development of earthquake preparedness plans. John Kingdon (1984:99-100) notes that "problems are often not self evident by the indicators. They need a little push to get the attention of people in and around government. That push is sometimes provided by a focusing event like a crisis or disaster that comes along to call attention to the problem." Kingdon makes specific reference to cases in the transportation and health fields in the United States, where 14 focusing events in the transportation field were much more common in terms of achieving visibility for an issue to become an active agenda item. In the same manner this thesis argues that focusing events are necessary in the realm of disaster policymaking. "To make an item from a less visible arena move up on a governmental agenda, something must happen, and that something often is real crisis - the sort of thing government decision makers cannot ignore (Kingdon, 1984:100). In almost all interviews conducted for this study, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California was cited as significant in terms of a focusing event. "Some progress has been made in preparedness for an earthquake disaster in British Columbia since California sent its penultimate wake-up call in 1989. The province's emergency response legislation has been overhauled, public education and awareness has improved and some work has been done upgrading the strength of bridges and buildings, though not enough in older schools" (Vancouver Sun, Jan. 21, 1994). This thesis examines development of earthquake preparedness plans in the Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley school districts. One might initially expect that all three school districts would take convergent approaches to earthquake preparedness planning for three reasons. First, Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley school districts were confronted with the same problem of earthquake preparedness. Second, all three districts encompass similar geological areas and none are at significant risk for liquefaction or tsunamis. Third, school districts are very centrally directed by the B.C. Provincial Government. This central direction is closely tied to the fact that 80 percent of school district revenues are provided by the provincial government (Bish, 1990:51). However, the case studies revea! significant divergence in terms of earthquake preparedness planning. In relation to earthquake preparedness planning in the three school district case studies, there are four relevant factors that require analysis: amount of money spent, centralization versus decentralization, reliance on external expertise and thoroughness of the plan. Langley School District established a committee in 1990 that put together an emergency response planning manual based largely on already established emergency preparedness plans from throughout the Pacific Rim Area. The principal at each Langley school is then responsible for that school's emergency preparedness plans. Thus, Langley's planning approach was decentralized in that actual planning tasks were delegated to individual schools. Langley School District also relied on external expertise in the form of established earthquake preparedness plans. Coquitlam School District formed a committee in 1986, prior to the Loma Prieta earthquake, consisting of representatives from elementary and high schools as well as from the school district office, to develop its own in-house emergency preparedness handbook. The handbook was designed in such a manner that each school within the district could then formulate its own emergency preparedness program specific to its particular needs. Thus, Coquitlam took a decentralized approach to preparedness planning whereby individual schools use the district's preparedness framework and adapt it to their own specific needs. Rather than using external expertise; Coquitlam School District relied on the expertise of its own committee members. 16 In contrast to both the Langley and Coquitlam approaches, Vancouver School District formed an Emergency Preparedness Planning Committee in 1990 and then proceeded to hire a consultant from California to develop a district-wide Master Emergency Preparedness Plan for all schools in the district. Thus, Vancouver relied on the expertise of an external consultant in order to develop a centralized plan for earthquake preparedness at all schools. THEORETICAL APPROACHES As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the fact that school districts were faced with the same problem might suggest that convergent approaches to solve the problem would be taken. However, convergent approaches were not taken. Thus, the primary concern of this thesis will be an explanation of the divergence in approaches taken in regard to earthquake preparedness planning. As such, the need to determine the relative influence of societal, institutional, economic and risk factors in explaining the divergence in earthquake preparedness planning at the school district level is important to this discussion. Four possible theoretical explanations for the divergence in the formulation of earthquake preparedness programs at the school district level are discussed in this thesis. These explanations are (1.) influence of interest groups, (2) the influence of key personnel, (3) availability of community wealth and (4) magnitude of risk. Throughout this thesis the term, "the state" is used and is interchangeable with the term "government." The term, "the state" does not refer to a geographical boundary area. 17 INFLUENCE OF INTEREST GROUPS Pluralist theory suggests that public policy is the result of conflicts, bargaining, lobbying and coalition formation among organized societal groups in order to advance or protect the interests of their members. Ham and Hill (1993:26) argue that pluralism "emphasizes the constraints imposed on the state by a wide range of groups and maintains that public policy is largely a reflection of the preferences of these groups." Earlier contributions to the discussion of pluralism also point to the activities of groups as a central component of the theory. No group is without power to influence the decision making process and at the same time, no group is dominant (Dahl, 1961). Expanding on this position, Nelson Polsby (1963) argues that the sources of power are not equally distributed, but are widely dispersed among individuals and groups in society. In this manner, what a group achieves depends largely on its resources and on its ability to garner attention. A pluralist analysis of earthquake preparedness would suggest that interest groups were the driving force in the formulation of school district earthquake preparedness plans. Parent groups are the most important interest group in this study. The primary concern of parent groups in relation to earthquake preparedness is the safety of school children. Thus, one would expect that in school districts where parent groups were larger, better organized, had access to school district, municipal government and provincial government officials and were able to garner more attention from the media and other parents, that a more decentralized approach to earthquake preparedness planning would occur. A decentralized approach would also occur since parent groups are organized at the school level rather than at the district level. School 1.8 district managers would want to include input from school parent groups in regard to earthquake preparedness in order to ensure that preparedness plans addressed parental concerns. The extent to which parent groups felt confident with the expertise of school board officials would be a factor in whether or not there was pressure for reliance on outside consultants. Also, greater pressure from parent groups might mean more money was available from the community and thus result in a more thorough earthquake preparedness plan. KEY PERSONNEL Unlike pluralist theory, which sees access to influence upon the state as comparatively open to citizens, institutionalist theory argues that "the preferences of the state are at least as important as those of civil society...{and} the state is not only frequently autonomous insofar as it regularly acts upon its preferences, but also markedly autonomous in doing so even when "its preferences diverge from the demands of the most powerful groups in civil society" (Nordlinger, 1981:1). Institutionalism explains public policy by the preferences and actions of government officials and/or the institutionalist structure of government. In this regard, institutionalism can be categorized into two separate arguments. The first argument defines government institutions, rules and procedures as the shapers of public policy. The second argument distinguishes the preferences and actions of government officials as the shapers of public policy. It is this second argument that is most useful t.o the discussion of the development of earthquake preparedness plans in the Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley school districts. 19 Implicit in the assumption that government officials have the capacity to use their own preferences to shape public policy are the concepts of influence and autonomy. "Influence...is the ability of government officials to get other actors to do something the officials want. The autonomy of government officials is in a sense the inverse of their influence - it is their ability to take actions unconstrained by other actors" (Hoberg, 1992:11 -12). That is, public officials are able to translate their preferences into authoritative actions. Eric Nordlinger (1981:9) argues that the state, authoritative actions, and state preferences need to be defined in order to clarify the concept of autonomy. First, "the state" refers to individuals rather than institutional arrangements and should include more than the government or bureaucratic agencies that derive their authority from it. In this manner, al! public officials, elected or appointed, involved in the policymaking process are included. "Authoritative actions" refer to all policy related decisions, regardless of whether the policy has been adopted or implemented. State preferences "are those with the weightiest support of public officials behind them, based on the number of officials on different sides of the issue, the formal powers of their offices, their hierarchical and strategic positioning relative to the issue at hand, and the information, expertise, and interpersonal skills at their disposal" (Nordlinger, 1981:15). However, the concept of state preferences should not be taken to mean that all public officials have preferences on every "issue or that there is unanimity on all issues. Institutionalist theory does not enable predictions concerning amount of money spent, centralization versus decentralization, reliance on external expertise or thoroughness of earthquake preparedness planning to be made in advance without 20-considering the preferences of state officials. School district managers are people with a variety of different preferences, goals and desires and these differences shape the outcome of policy COMMUNITY WEALTH Community wealth may explain the divergence in earthquake preparedness program formulation. "Beginning in 1990, the provincial government {took} over collection of all school property taxes and uses its cost-based formula to provide a block grant to each school district in the province. School districts, however, can spend above their block grant amount by submitting a referendum to their local voters -who have to finance 100 percent of the additional costs on their residential property tax bills" (Bish, 1990:139-140). Referenda occurred in both Vancouver and Coquitlam school districts in 1990, but passed only in the Vancouver School District. 21 TABLE 1. HOUSEHOLD INCOME IN COQUITLAM DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY, LANGLEY DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY AND VANCOUVER. Coquitlam District Municipality Langley District Municipality Vancouver City Total Households 29,375 21,400 198,530 Household income under $20,000 4,504 (15%) 3,044 (14%) 53,786 (27%) $20,000-34,999 4,861 (17%) 3,285 (15%) 43,007 (22%) $35,000-49,999 5,311 (18%) 4,249 (20%) 34,552 (17%) $50,000 and over 14,652 (50%) 10,785 (50%) 65,760 (33%) Avg. Income 54,411 53,879 45,583 Median Income 49,531 48,276 35,292 Source: Statistics Canada 1991 Census 22 TABLE 2. INCIDENCE OF LOW INCOME IN COQUITLAM DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY. LANGLEY DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY AND VANCOUVER Coquitlam District Langley District Vancouver Municipality Municipality City Total Economic families 22,560 17,780 89,610 Incidence of low Income' 11.4% 6.6% 18.0% Source: Statistics Canada 1991 Census 1 incidence of low income is calculated as $10,233 for a one person household and as $29,155 for a seven person household by Statistics Canada. As Tables 1 and 2 indicate, Vancouver has a greater proportion of lower income families than Coquitlam and Langley. Thus one might expect that Vancouver parents might be less responsive to making funds available for earthquake preparedness. However, one must also consider the fact that the greatest voter turn-out occurs in the most wealthy Vancouver districts. Therefore, one would expect wealthy voters to designate funds for earthquake preparedness. Availability of community wealth does not tell us anything about a decentralized or centralized approach to earthquake preparedness planning. Availability of community wealth does suggest a correlation between reliance on external expertise and community wealth because presumably a greater amount of money received from the community would enable school districts to retain the services of a preparedness consultant. More money would also suggest a more thorough program. The manner in which each 23 particular school district designates funds for earthquake preparedness could have a significant impact on the formulation of earthquake preparedness plans. Since the B.C. Provincial Government supplies a block grant to each school district, based on per student expenditures, there is no school district that receives more money from the province because it is located in a more wealthy region or less money because it is located in a less wealthy region. In this regard, the basic amount of money per student available to each school district is the same. This fact may help explain why more wealthy communities were not inclined to provide extra funding for earthquake preparedness. MAGNITUDE OF RISK Magnitude of risk may explain the divergence in the formulation of earthquake preparedness plans. That is, factors such as population density, geological characteristics of the school districts, structural types of the school buildings as well as of surrounding buildings, and other structural risk factors such as railyards and pipelines may explain the divergence in earthquake preparedness plans. Inherent in magnitude of risk being a driving factor in earthquake preparedness is the assumption that school district managers, school administrators, teachers and/or parents will recognize and respond to risk factors accordingly. As mentioned earlier, the damage distribution resulting from a significant earthquake affecting the Greater Vancouver Regional District will depend on the size and epicentral distance of the earthquake as well as the geological characteristics of the areas affected. The Greater Vancouver Regional District could sustain 24 considerable damage from ground shaking. Local ground conditions can change the characteristics of earthquake motions that exist at bedrock. Sn particular, thick deposits of compressible soils can raise the intensity of motions in a certain frequency range leading to severe damage. Soft soils may cause major damage in the Greater Vancouver Regional District notably in the Fraser Delta, the False Creek Area, and at locations of other deposits of soft soils and development fills (Rainer et al., 1990.15). TABLE 3. POPULATION DENSITY IN VANCOUVER, COQUITLAM AND LANGLEY POPULATION DENSITY per square Kilometre Vancouver 4,114.3 Coquitlam 571.2 Langley 219.2 Source: Ventura and Schuster, 1993. Table 3 indicates the relative population densities of the three areas under study. In most cases, greater population density is associated with greater actual risk since there is an increased probability of human injury or death. Due to its much greater density, one might expect the population in Vancouver to perceive greater earthquake risk and therefore be more vocal about earthquake preparedness than residents in either Coquitlam or Langley. Vancouver also has several locations with high density high-rise buildings, especially in the downtown city core, the West End and waterfront areas. High rise buildings can pose considerable risk due to cumulative damage or collapse. Magnitude of risk does suggest that greater risk will mean more money spent and a more thorough preparedness program. Magnitude of risk does not indicate whether or not a centralized or decentralized approach would be taken by school districts. The key factor in magnitude of risk is that risk factors must be responded to by either the public, interest groups or government in order for risk magnitude to have any effect on the outcome of preparedness plans. Of the three cities, Vancouver is at greatest risk. Coquitlam is second and Langley is third. Therefore, one would expect that the Vancouver School District would spend more money and have a more thorough program because magnitude of risk is greater than in Coquitlam or Langley. METHODOLOGICAL NOTES The data base for this thesis consists of the earthquake emergency preparedness program experience in three Greater Vancouver Regional District school districts selected to illustrate divergent approaches to earthquake preparedness planning. Relevant school district managers and staff as well as parent groups, teachers and school administrators, such as principals and vice-principals, were interviewed from each school district. Provincial Emergency Program officials and city and regional planners were also interviewed. In no sense was a random sample of decision makers attempted. Interviewees were chosen to represent departments or committees that were directly responsible for disaster preparedness or had some stake, direct or indirect, in the issues posed by earthquake preparedness. Some 2.6 limitations occurred in that some personnel had been appointed after the original initiatives for earthquake preparedness plans began and thus were not entirely familiar with beginnings of plans. In all, the data base consists of 28 personal interviews. Also, documentary sources, government reports and statistics and newspaper articles were used. A listing of departments and offices in which interviews were conducted is provided by Appendix A. The interviews were loosely structured and open-ended. Since all interviews were confidential, interviewees are not cited by name. OUTLINE This thesis uses case studies of three Greater Vancouver Regional District school districts and their development of earthquake preparedness programs to explore the preparedness component of disaster policy in British Columbia school districts. How significant are interest groups, key personnel, community wealth, and magnitude of risk in the development of earthquake preparedness plans? Does the pressure of interest groups necessarily entail a decentralized approach? Does magnitude of risk determine the thoroughness of an earthquake preparedness plan? These questions form the basis for the case studies covered in chapters two, three and four. Chapter two will address the Vancouver School District and examine the centralized, top-down approach taken in that district in the formulation of an earthquake preparedness program. Chapter three will deal with the Coquitlam School District and analyze the more decentralized, bottom-up approach taken in that district. Chapter four examines the Langley School District and the minimalist approach taken 2.7 to earthquake preparedness in that district. Chapter five will provide concluding remarks and allow me to offer some suggestions for future consideration regarding earthquake preparedness in British Columbia school districts. Earthquakes are a special concern for schools with their large concentration of students in confined spaces. In particular, since earthquakes do not give any substantial warning, preparedness plans should be an integral component of a school district's emergency program, especially in those districts where earthquakes pose significant risk. Indeed, this study might prove useful for those B.C. school districts in which earthquake preparedness has not been given much consideration even though an earthquake risk hazard may exist. 2.8 CHAPTER TWO VANCOUVER CASE STUDY The Vancouver School District is the largest of the 75 school districts in B.C. with 54,800 students. This figure represents ten percent of the total provincial elementary and secondary student population. To accommodate these students the Vancouver School Board operates 90 elementary schools and 18 secondary schools comprising 250 school buildings and 198 portable classrooms. The building ages range from the oldest built in 1889 to the newest built in 1982 with 44 percent of total school buildings built prior to 1929. A map of the Vancouver School District is located on the following page. A 1990 engineering consultant's report to the Vancouver School District indicated that 30 percent of school buildings pose a high risk in the event of an earthquake (Transit Bridge Group, 1990). High risk in this case means a building has a good chance of suffering collapse or extensive damage throughout. The approximate cost of upgrading all schools to current seismic standards in the Canadian Building Code is $500 million. While seismic upgrading is a desirable choice, it is expensive and time consuming. "The 1982 economic recession in B.C. severely cut back capital funding for education except for districts with growing school populations. Vancouver was not in this group as {it} had dropped from 70,000 students in the 1960's to 50,000 students 2°l Figure 3. Vancouver School District Source: Vancouver School Board Ready Reference 1993-1994. 30 in the 1980's" (Angel, 1990:8). Therefore, an earthquake preparedness program is an important alternative in regard to earthquake risk. In fact, in a post earthquake environment, an emergency preparedness program is necessary regardless of the structural risk of school buildings. Having a well coordinated earthquake preparedness program may save many lives through good evacuation plans, an adequate supply of emergency supplies and trained personnel. Prior to 1990, in the Vancouver School District there was no organized earthquake safety program in place. Instead, the Vancouver School District instructed school principles to be responsible for their own emergency preparedness plans. However, this approach was deemed inadequate by school board managers for three reasons. First, principals are not emergency planners. Thus, principals felt that the added task of designing emergency preparedness plans in addition to their regular administrative tasks was inappropriate. Interviews with school principals confirmed this position and in fact many principals indicated that they had down-loaded the responsibility of designing and implementing emergency preparedness plans to their vice-principals or to school committees composed of teachers, students and parents. Second, following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, parent groups were becoming more vocal regarding emergency preparedness and wanted to know specifically what was being done by the Vancouver School District to address the issue of earthquake preparedness. Interviews with parent group leaders indicated that there were initially three main goals regarding earthquake safety and Vancouver schools. First, many parents wanted action taken to address structural upgrading of seismically unsafe schools. Second, parents wanted a nonstructural hazard remediation program 31 put in place. Third, parents wanted an earthquake preparedness program put into effect. In particular, parents at Southlands Elementary, Hastings Elementary and Bayview Elementary talked about paying for their own seismic studies (Bula, 1989). Southlands Elementary parents got the school ready by supplying blankets, radios, flashlights, food and water supplies after principal Bob Mackay asked parents for donations. Parents at Bayview Elementary mounted a letter writing campaign to provincial and federal politicians to pressure them to provide money for seismic surveys and upgrading. However, several parent group leaders were quick to indicate that some parents were willing to live with the seismic risk posed by Vancouver schools and that the salience of earthquake safety to many parents was really very limited. In 1989, Alayne Keough, chairperson of the Vancouver School District's Parent Representatives, indicated that parent concern was uneven in the district. Some parents were satisfied with the school district's efforts to get funding for a seismic survey while others wanted action taken immediately (Chow, 1989). Focusing events such as the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California and even the recent January 1994 Northridge quake helped to increase the salience of earthquake safety for a short time, but could not sustain long-term interest in the issue except among a relatively few concerned parent groups and school district managers. Third, Vancouver School District management was becoming concerned with the fact that most school emergency plans consisted of only evacuation procedures. There was no thought of what to do once students were outside or if they were unable to re-enter the school or to go home. Indeed, some school district managers indicated that emergency plans were only as good as the personalities involved in designing them and that some school administrators gave relatively little thought or consideration to emergency preparedness. As well, the Vancouver School District could no longer ignore the concerns of parents because of the attention in the media. In addition, the Vancouver School Board determined that it made more sense to develop a centralized plan for the entire district rather than continue with ad hoc approach already in use. Parent groups, school administrators and Vancouver School District management indicated that the provincial government did not initiate preparation of a district earthquake preparedness plan. In fact, the B.C. Ministry of Education's June 1989 "School Earthquake Safety Guidebook" only recommends that an earthquake safety program be established and maintained in each school district. To do this the "School Earthquake Safety Guidebook" suggests that each school board form an Earthquake Safety Committee. However, there is no indication of funding procedures or if there is money available for this task from the B.C. Government in the guidebook. in fact, in November 1989 after the Loma Prieta earthquake, the Kerrisdale School Consultative Committee, prompted by a request from the Vancouver School District, formed an 18 parent committee to lobby the MLAs and Ministry of Education for the $500,000 the Vancouver School District required to upgrade the district's schools (Truscott, 1989). In June 1990, following the extensive lobbying effort by parent groups, the Ministry of Education allocated $500,000 required for preliminary seismic analysis and evaluation of Vancouver's highest risk school buildings {Angel, 1990:11). 33 Also in 1990, a $7.7 million referendum was approved by the public, including $311,000 for emergency preparedness of which $245,000 was designated for food, water and first aid training, $26,000 for consulting services, and $40,000 for first aid equipment (Vancouver School Board Notes, July 13,1990). Senior Vancouver School District management put forward the referendum issues which were accepted by the Vancouver School Board trustees. Emergency preparedness was considered a politically safe referendum issue. That is, Vancouver School District managers and trustees felt that most people would not vote against improving student safety. Emergency planning consultants Caroline Pratt and Associates of Camarillo, California were retained to develop the five year emergency plan which included 27 recommendations. The five year Master Emergency Preparedness Plan emphasizes self sufficiency at each individual school so that each school can function independently for a designated period of time, possibly up to 72 hours. The main components of the Master Emergency Preparedness Plan include: the appointment of an emergency preparedness coordinator; development and training of emergency response teams to provide life saving services at each school; provision and storage of survival supplies; installation of emergency systems and equipment; installation of a communications system; training of staff in building inspection and damage assessment; review of potential hazards that exist at school sites and their impact on evacuation routes; annual conduct of disaster exercises; and annual review of the emergency planning process (Vancouver School Board Memorandum, February 8,1994). 34 The Master Emergency Preparedness Plan recommendations and their implementation status are summarized in Appendices B and C. The consultants' proposal included a budget estimate of the funding required for the implementation of the first five years of the Master Emergency Preparedness Plan. The estimate of the funding required and the funding actually provided by the Vancouver School District is presented in Table 4, below. TABLE 4. COMPARISON OF VANCOUVER SCHOOL BOARD'S MASTER EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN BUDGET ESTIMATE WITH FUNDING PROVIDED Consultant's estimate VSB Funding Provided YEAR Referendum (1990/91) $311,000 1991-1992 $992,000 $295,000 1992-1993 $973,976 $136,470 1993-1994 $702,248 $152,400 1994-1995 $722,915 $154,830 Source: Vancouver School Board Memorandum from Rod Watertow to the Planning and Building Committee, February 8,1994. California consultants were chosen because they had the best tender, not because they had more expertise in emergency preparedness planning. Also, the four or five B.C. firms specializing in emergency preparedness consulting were unable to take on the task at that time. 35 Under the direction of then Fraserview Area Associate Superintendent, Norma Mercer, an in-house Emergency Preparedness Planning Committee met on June 9, 1990 to address the issue of earthquake preparedness. The Emergency Preparedness Committee reports to the Vancouver School Board Trustees. Several factors prompted the formation of the Emergency Preparedness Planning Committee. First, funds from the 1990 referendum were designated for emergency preparedness. Second, a review of several schools' emergency evacuation plans by the Vancouver School District's Health and Safety Department indicated a need for emergency preparedness plans. Third, the ongoing safety survey and planned remediation efforts, both structural and nonstructural, by the Vancouver School District's Physical Plant also indicated that a better coordinated effort should be pursued regarding emergency preparedness tasks. Instead of having several different departments addressing emergency preparedness, Vancouver School District management decided it made more sense to take a centralized approach. The purpose of the June 9,1990, meeting was "to explore ways to coordinate and move forward with the various efforts at the Vancouver School Board to prepare..students, staff and facilities to survive major emergencies. It was agreed that the hitherto ad hoc efforts of the individuals involved should be coordinated through a management committee with assigned responsibility and authority for emergency preparedness throughout the district" (Vancouver School Board Notes, July 1990). When questioned about the Emergency Preparedness Planning Committee's decision to hire an outside consultant, several school district managers responded that the Vancouver School District could have generated its own plan, but committee 3-6 members simply did not have the time. Other managers indicated the Emergency Preparedness Planning Committee hired an outside consultant because Committee members had no expertise in emergency planning. Also, some managers felt that bringing in an outside consultant would present the Vancouver School District as more credible in taking the earthquake safety issue seriously, especially in 1990 with the Loma Prieta earthquake still fresh in the minds of the public. According to one newspaper article, public interest in B.C. school safety soared after the October 1989 Loma Prieta quake (Bula, 1990). However, other school district managers disagreed that credibility had anything to do with hiring an outside consultant. When questioned about the top-down approach taken by the Vancouver School District, that is, an approach in which direction flowed from school district managers down to principals and administrators in the schools, school district managers responded with two explanations. First, a top-down approach made sense because of the size of the district. The Vancouver School District operates 109 schools and this is a significant number of schools to be looked after. Second, the Vancouver School District works from an egalitarian position in all its undertakings. That is, emergency preparedness was deemed to be of equal necessity for all schools, regardless of neighbourhood wealth or seismic risk of school buildings. Consequently, efforts made by individual schools to bolster the district's emergency provisions were not looked upon favourably by the Vancouver School District. The Vancouver School District rejected offers by parent groups to buy emergency items for their local schools (Bula, 1989). However, parents at Southlands Elementary went ahead anyway and 3.-7 supplied emergency provisions following a request from the school principal for parent donations. Some parents wanted the Vancouver School District to adopt the position taken by the Richmond School District where parent donations were welcomed. The Vancouver School District was concerned that requests for parent donations to provide first aid kits in each classroom would tax East Side parents' pocketbooks, or even worse, leave them unable to accomplish what parents on the West Side were able to do (Truscott, 1990). None of the interviews indicated whether or not the Vancouver School District considered accepting donations and then distributing funds equally among all schools. However, one school district manager suspected that there are a number of wealthier schools that do purchase extra emergency supplies and simply choose not to inform the Vancouver School District. 38. TABLE 5. LOW INCOME DISTRIBUTION IN EAST SIDE AND WEST SIDE VANCOUVER —————————-- # of Economic Families # of Low Income Families Average Income Of All Economic Families Vancouver 101,290 19,650 (19.4%) 39,908 Strathcona(E)2 1,760 910 (51.7%) 19,153 Mount Pleasant(E) 4,635 1,825 (39.4%) 23,740 Grandview- 5,815 2,200 (37.8%) 25,119 Woodlands(E) Shaughnessy(W)3 2,235 90 (4.0%) 96,034 Kerrisdale(W) 3,205 215 (6.7%) 76,451 Arbutus-Ridge(W) 3,325 230 (6.9%) 62,031 Source: Vancouver Local Area, City of Vancouver Planning Dept., June 1989. 2 (E) indicates location in East Side Vancouver. 3 (W) indicates location in West Side Vancouver. Table 5, above, indicates the low income distribution in a sample of East Side and West Side Vancouver Communities. Low income is determined on the basis of Statistics Canada Low-Income cut-offs. For Vancouver, 1985 cut-offs ranged from $10,233 for a one person household to 29,155 for a seven person household. Quite clearly, there is a significant difference in the number and proportion of low income families between the East and West side. The Vancouver School District was quite aware of this situation when proceeding with earthquake preparedness plans. 39 Following the formation of the Emergency Preparedness Planning Committee and the Master Emergency Preparedness Plan, the reaction from parents was very receptive according to school board managers and leaders of parent groups. For instance, one parent leader indicated that six or seven years ago, nothing in terms of earthquake safety was being done in the Vancouver School District. Since then, beginning in late 1989, three initiatives have been put into action by the Vancouver School Board trustees. The three phased approach includes structural retrofits, nonstructural hazard reduction and emergency preparedness. A big problem cited by most parents and school district managers is the lack of support and funding from the provincial government. In fact, neither group expected any help from the provincial government in the near future as the B.C. government has frozen all funding in regard to earthquake safety. The consensus among school district managers is that the government should have provided targeted funds for earthquake preparedness, rather than making the school boards use funds from their operating budgets. Principals and teaching staff, however, were quite skeptical about the effectiveness of a district-wide Master Emergency Preparedness Plan, especially those principals who felt they already had an effective plan in place, Also, most principals took the position that until the Master Emergency Preparedness Plan was fully in place they would dismiss the initiative as another piece of school board rhetoric. To date, all schools have been supplied with disaster first aid kits, water pouches, emergency space blankets, a radio, search and rescue kits and emergency preparedness supply containers. A more detailed description of the current status of the Vancouver School Board Master Emergency Preparedness Plan is provided by Appendix C. 40 Yet, even with the eventual installation of the district-wide Master Emergency Preparedness Plan, schools still do not file earthquake drill records with the Vancouver School Board. Nor are there any reports filed regarding chain of command at the individual schools. These gaps in record keeping suggest that the implementation of the Master Emergency Preparedness Plan has not been entirely effective. The Vancouver School District is hoping to remedy this problem in the near future and to ensure that a standardized plan is followed at all schools. One of the main obstacles to standardization cited by school district managers is that many schools did not even know that an emergency preparedness coordinator had been hired by the Vancouver School District in 1990. POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE VANCOUVER SCHOOL BOARD APPROACH As discussed in Chapter One, there are four possible explanations for the approach taken by the Vancouver School District in the development of an earthquake preparedness plan: interest group pressure, influence of key personnel, availability of community wealth, and magnitude of risk. INFLUENCE OF INTEREST GROUPS A pluralist analysis of the Vancouver School District approach to earthquake preparedness points to interest groups as the most significant factor in determining the approach the Vancouver School District took in developing their earthquake preparedness program. Since teachers are deemed to be an extension of the 41 government and not an interest group in themselves, only parents or students qualify as significant interest groups in this study. While parents were primarily concerned with structural seismic upgrading of unsafe schools as well as nonstructural mitigation, many were also concerned with the lack of earthquake preparedness plans. Most parent pressure seems to have come from the more wealthy areas of the city, particularly the Kerrisdale area (Truscott, 1989 and 1990). A reason for greater pressure on the West Side of Vancouver is that parents in those areas do not have to worry about providing necessities such as food and shelter that is a concern on the East Side, where a greater number of low-income families reside. Even though parents in the Vancouver School District were able, through extensive lobbying of the provincial government in 1990, to secure $500,000 for preliminary seismic analysis and evaluation of Vancouver's highest risk schools, their pressure on the Vancouver School District regarding earthquake preparedness was not significant enough to be the cited by school board managers as the driving factor in earthquake preparedness development. Also, it appears that the Vancouver School District requested parent groups to lobby the Provincial Government for seismic study funding. This request indicates that parents groups did not act solely on their own, but were motivated by the school district. The Vancouver School District unilaterally rejected parent money for independently funded seismic studies as well as parent donations of emergency supplies (Bula, 1989 and Truscott, 1989). This action would suggest that the Vancouver School District already had a clear idea of what direction would be taken in order to develop an earthquake preparedness program. 42 The success of the lobbying effort by Vancouver parents in 1990 may partially be due to the heightened awareness created by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake not only among parents, but also among government officials, and thus did not lead to a decentralized approach as anticipated. KEY PERSONNEL The personal preferences and actions of Vancouver School District managers is the most significant factor in the approach taken by the Vancouver School District regarding earthquake preparedness. Interviews with Vancouver School District managers indicated a definite concern about the way in which schools were dealing with emergency preparedness prior to 1990. School district managers were mainly concerned that emergency preparedness at many schools consisted only of an evacuation plan. There was no thought given as to what to do with students if the school was not suitable to re-enter, nor was there adequate first aid training in many schools. In particular, the Vancouver School District Health and Safety Department became quite concerned about earthquake preparedness after conducting a review of several schools' emergency evacuation plans which were deemed inadequate. Also, the Vancouver School District's Physical Plant had undertaken a safety survey and had planned remediation efforts, both structural and nonstructural for a number of schools. Most Vancouver School District managers felt that different department efforts could be better coordinated under the general task of emergency preparedness planning. Thus, the preference of school district managers for 43 undertaking a coordinated effort resulted in a centralized approach by the Vancouver School District. Individual Vancouver School District departmental concerns resulted in the formation of an in-house Emergency Preparedness Planning Committee which had its first meeting on June 9, 1990 in order to address the issue of earthquake preparedness. The Emergency Preparedness Committee then hired an outside consultant to develop a district-wide Master Emergency Preparedness Plan. Thus, the action and attitudes of Vancouver School District managers steered the approach taken in the development of an earthquake preparedness program in a most significant manner. COMMUNITY WEALTH Availability of community wealth, while not as significant a factor as key personnel, did have an impact on the approach taken toward earthquake preparedness in the Vancouver School District. The Vancouver School District was successful in passing a referendum in 1990 that included $311,000 designated for emergency preparedness. These extra funds meant that the alternative of hiring an outside consultant was available to the Vancouver School District. If funds had not been made available through the referendum, Vancouver School District managers indicated that the other option would have been to proceed as they did in 1991 and designate a portion of the operating budget for earthquake preparedness. The referendum money was looked upon as a windfall and made the desired option of retaining an outside consultant possible. In fact, in 1990, seven school districts had referenda, but Vancouver's was the only one to pass. Again, it is important to note here that the greatest voter turn-out occurs in Vancouver's more wealthy districts. Thus, one would expect more wealthy voters to approve the designation of additional funds for earthquake preparedness. MAGNITUDE OF RISK Seismic risk in the Vancouver School District was taken seriously by all Vancouver School District managers interviewed. Geological characteristics across the Vancouver School District are fairly consistent. However, there are schools at greater risk in Vancouver due to age and construction of school buildings and proximity to other seismically unsafe buildings. In terms of public perception in the Vancouver School District, Vancouver School District managers felt that most parents and the general public had focused on the possibility of a mega thrust earthquake rather than realizing that there is a spectrum of earthquake magnitude. For instance, the next earthquake that hits may not be 'the big one' and obliterate the entire city, but it may incur enough damage so that a well developed preparedness program would be most useful in saving lives. In fact, research indicates that deaths in earthquakes do not result from building collapse, but rather from nonstructural hazards or inadequate preparation, such as ill conceived evacuation plans. 45 CHAPTER THREE COQUITLAM CASE STUDY Coquitlam School District is comprised of the three municipalities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody. The Coquitlam School District operates 60 schools which accommodate 27,865 students. Coquitlam School District is very fortunate in that most of its older school buildings are of wood construction and are much safer than the unreinforced masonry school buildings that are fairly common in Vancouver. In fact, the most hazardous school buildings in Coquitlam are the brick buildings that date from the 1960's. Fortunately, there are few of these buildings in the Coquitlam School District. A map of Coquitlam School District is located on the following page. In 1990 Coquitlam School District undertook a seismic study to assess the risk factor of all school buildings. Schools were prioritized according to seismic risk, and since then have been under a course of gradual retrofit each summer. The budget to perform retrofit upgrading is $70,000 annually. As is the case in the Vancouver School District, seismic retrofitting is a costly and time consuming project. And as previously indicated, an earthquake preparedness plan is necessary regardless of the structural risk of school buildings. Figure 4. Coquitlam School District .Source: Coquitlam School District Emergency Preparedness Handbook 1993-1994. 47 Coquitlam School District initiated its emergency preparedness program in 1986, well before Vancouver and Langley school districts and the B.C. Provincial Government undertook preparedness measures. Coquitlam School District formed an Emergency Preparedness Committee consisting of administrative representatives from elementary schools, secondary schools, the school district board office and the Municipality of Coquitlam. Parents were not part of this committee. The purpose of the committee was to develop an information guidebook on emergency preparedness that would serve as a framework so that each school could develop its own emergency preparedness plan. The Emergency Preparedness Handbook (1993-94:5) instructs "each school...{to} establish and maintain its own Earthquake Safety Committee under the responsibility of the principal to develop a school-based plan and ensure that all staff, students, and parents are aware of its contents." School-based plans are to meet the following requirements. First, a completed School Response Plan which contains an earthquake evacuation plan, a chain of command, a designated outdoor evacuation assembly area, and assignment of responsibilities is to be submitted to the Manager of Business Services by October 15th of each year. The assignment of responsibilities designates specific school staff to look after such tasks as site inspection, damage assessment, first aid and setting up a command centre and parent reception centre. A list of qualified first aid attendants is to be submitted along with the School Response Plan. Second, each school is to maintain a hazard inventory of classroom, maintenance, neighbourhood 48 and fire hazards. Third, earthquake drills must be held three times each school year. Fourth, a letter must be sent to parents at the beginning of each school year outlining the school's earthquake safety program, including preparedness procedures for parents in the event of an earthquake. Fifth, each school must maintain "Emergency Kits" as described in Appendix D. Sixth, the principal at each school should conduct periodic evaluations of earthquake drills. The Handbook (1993-94:18) stresses that "even in severe earthquakes, buildings rarely collapse completely. Injury and even death are most often caused by the shattering and falling of nonstructural elements such as window glass, ceiling plaster, lighting fixtures, chimneys, roof tiles, and signs. There will be no time to think what to do; therefore, of all earthquake preparedness measures, earthquake drills are the most important." Interviews conducted with individuals responsible for earthquake preparedness planning in a small sample of schools in Coquitlam indicated relative similarity in the components of the preparedness plans. The sample schools all perform earthquake drills on a regular basis, have assigned specific roles and responsibilities to staff members, have staff trained in emergency first aid in addition to the required staff trained in basic first aid, have first aid supplies and some emergency equipment and send regular newsletters to parents regarding earthquake preparedness. One school in particular had ensured that earthquake education was covered as a subject area in lessons and all students are required to write reports on the various aspects of earthquakes. The same school also has students create their own "comfort kits" which are stored in the classroom and contain items such as non-perishable food, water, LD. 49 tags, and any special items from home. Parents are requested to supply the comfort kit items at the beginning of each school year. The individuals involved with earthquake preparedness at the sample schools felt that the district Emergency Preparedness Handbook contained a substantial amount of useful material and that directions for establishing earthquake preparedness plans were quite explicit. The Emergency Preparedness Committee decided that each individual school had a better understanding of its specific needs in regard to earthquake preparedness and the committee had no intention of developing earthquake preparedness plans for each school. Therefore, a district-wide master plan was not considered. Also, a strong reason for creating a general framework around which schools could design their own earthquake preparedness plan was that of ownership. That is, Emergency Preparedness Committee determined that in having each school create its own plan, earthquake preparedness issues could not be ignored by being subsumed in a district-wide plan under the direction of a school district director who might be entirely unfamiliar with the special emergency needs of a particular school. The Emergency Preparedness Handbook was designed to be a fluid guide that is amenable to constant revisions as new preparedness information is gathered. Ownership by the individual schools, defined here as responsibility for an earthquake preparedness plan, was cited as a critical component of preparedness planning by all Coquitlam School District managers interviewed. That is, district managers take the position that it is much more effective to have the schools themselves develop earthquake preparedness programs rather than implementing a 50 centralized district plan that might not be wholly endorsed by school administrators. When questioned if a single district manager had supervised the work on earthquake preparedness, school district managers indicated that a committee approach had been in effect since the beginning. Coquitlam School District operates by committee in many areas and earthquake preparedness continues under this approach without an appointed emergency preparedness coordinator in place. Reports and preparedness plans for each school, however, are filed with the manager of Business Services at the Coquitlam School District Office. The Emergency Preparedness Committee was acutely aware that no funds existed to hire an outside consultant and thus did not even consider the option. In fact, Coquitlam School Districtdoes not make large expenditures on earthquake preparedness. Hence, the Emergency Preparedness Committee created its own emergency preparedness handbook. All school district managers interviewed indicated that the initial concern with earthquake safety originated with the Municipality of Coquitlam. In 1986, a municipal director approached the school board with a request to dovetail city and school district emergency preparedness programs. However, the initial aspect of emergency preparedness that the municipality wanted to address was not earthquake safety, but the danger posed by tanker car accidents. The Coquitlam School District is traversed by several highway corridors, railway lines and pipelines. In the event of a tanker car accident, such as spillage or an explosion, a significant risk could be posed to Coquitlam schools. 51 Presentations by municipal officials at district professional days generated a significant amount of interest in emergency preparedness among teachers and principals. Eventually, interest in emergency preparedness focused specifically on earthquake preparedness. In response, the school district formed the Emergency Preparedness Committee in 1986 and subsequently produced the district's Emergency Preparedness Handbook. In addition to the production of the Emergency Preparedness Handbook, Coquitlam School District undertook a joint video production on earthquake preparedness with the City of Coquitlam in 1991 and each year sends representatives to an 'Emergency Preparedness Showing' sponsored by the city. Staff from the municipality of Coquitlam were impressed with the way in which the school district had approached earthquake preparedness. If an earthquake does occur, Coquitlam schools will serve as secondary reception centres as requested by the municipality. One school district manager indicated that in the event of an earthquake, he believes the schools will become rallying or focal points. All schools are surrounded by a number of homes. Since all schools are surrounded by a number of homes which are assumed to have a modest supply of food, the school district has not supplied food to its schools. School district managers indicated that the community will have to pull together in the event of an earthquake and that includes providing food for students. Managers also indicated that there were some suggestions to purchase cellular phone, but no real thought was given to a communications system. As well, managers felt that the 52 Ministry of Education's prediction that schools will be isolated for up to 72 hours is not likely to occur. Clearly, Coquitlam School District has adopted a community oriented approach to earthquake preparedness. Two reasons explain this approach. First, Coquitlam School District did not have a lot of money to invest in earthquake preparedness. For instance, in 1990, a referendum concerned primarily with the issue of increased funding for adult basic education also brought forward a proposal to designate a small amount of money for emergency preparedness. However, the referendum did not pass. Second, Coquitlam School District has certain expectations for community involvement. The school district expects households to supply food and shelter in the event of an earthquake, so the community is automatically included in Coquitlam School District's preparedness plans. Even though the school district chose not to develop a district-wide earthquake preparedness program, it did ensure that all schools have first aid supplies. Initially individual schools were to provide their own first aid supplies, but because some schools had greater financial resources than others, not all schools had adequate supplies. Consequently, the school district took $90,000 from its 1992 budget before funds were allocated for other purposes and had first aid kits prepared for each school. Unlike Vancouver, Coquitlam School District is not opposed to individual schools bolstering their earthquake preparedness supplies by way of fundraising or parent donations. 53. POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE COQUITLAM SCHOOL DISTRICT APPROACH Again, the explanations of interest group pressure, influence of key personnel, availability of community wealth and magnitude of risk will be used to analyze the development of an earthquake preparedness program in Coquitlam School District. INFLUENCE OF INTEREST GROUPS A pluralist approach to the analysis of the Coquitlam School District's development of an emergency preparedness program would suggest that interest groups were the driving force. However, interest groups, defined as parent or student groups, were noticeably absent in terms of lobbying or pressuring the Coquitlam School District to take action regarding earthquake preparedness. KEY PERSONNEL In Coquitlam School District, the most significant factor regarding earthquake preparedness program development was that of the preferences and actions of key personnel. Specifically, municipal officials were instrumental in stimulating interest about earthquake safety among school district teachers, administrators and managers. In fact, enough interest and concern was generated over earthquake safety that an in-house emergency preparedness committee was formed to address the issue. None of the individuals on the committee, nor the committee as a whole, was willing to create a district-wide plan for all schools. The committee based approach that Coquitlam School District employs leads to a more decentralized approach to policy issues. If 54 municipals officials had not been interested in emergency safety issues in 1986, it is difficult to say whether or not Coquitlam School District would have addressed earthquake preparedness on its own. A likely scenario would have been that no action would have been taken until after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. COMMUNITY WEALTH Since Coquitlam School District was not successful in passing its 1990 referendum, there were no windfall funds available for earthquake preparedness. Despite the relative wealth of Coquitlam District Municipality, the public was either not interest in or concerned about earthquake preparedness and consequently did not contribute extra funds to the school district. Thus, the option of hiring an outside consultant was never considered by the district. Instead, Coquitlam School District formed an Emergency Preparedness Committee and produced its own Emergency Preparedness Handbook, without consulting other B.C. or United States school districts. This route was the least costly alternative for the district. MAGNITUDE OF RISK Interviews with Coquitlam School District managers indicated that once teachers and school administrators became aware of the risk posed by an earthquake via presentations made by municipal officials in 1986, earthquake risk was taken seriously. Yet, magnitude of risk was not significant in itself to initiate earthquake preparedness. The influence of municipal officials was necessary in order to convey the potential risks posed by an earthquake. However, some school district managers 55 also indicated that perhaps a sense of apathy overtook the district once the initial earthquake preparedness actions were taken. That is, school district staff as well as teachers, principals and parents remain unconvinced that further earthquake preparedness actions need to be taken. Interviews with school board managers indicated that at the various community interaction days, which are informational sessions for parents to attend, the topic of emergency preparedness received little response. One manager seemed to think that a lack of response did not necessarily mean that parents perceived low earthquake risk, but rather that the community was content with the measures taken to address earthquake preparedness. With an emergency preparedness framework in place, many district staff feel that earthquake safety has been adequately addressed. It appears that parents also feel satisfied with the district's earthquake preparedness measures as indicated by the lack of response after the Northridge quake in January 1994. 56 CHAPTER FOUR LANGLEY CASE STUDY Langley School District encompasses the City of Langley and the Township of Langley. The district operates 44 schools, 34 of which are elementary schools and 10 of which are secondary schools. There are 18,166 students in the Langley School District. School buildings in Langley range from heritage buildings to buildings constructed only two years ago. Interviews with school administrators indicated that most Langley School District parents were not worried about the structural safety of school buildings in the event of an earthquake. A map of Langley School District is located on the following page. Following the October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the Langley School District formed an Emergency Response Committee composed of teachers and school administrators who either were interested in earthquake preparedness or had expertise in an area that would be useful to preparedness planning, such as extensive first aid training. Initially, the Emergency Response Committee sought information from the B.C. Provincial Government and from the Municipality of Langley. However, committee members indicated in interviews that they found little help at the local and provincial government level. Some members also indicated surprise that the B.C. Provincial Government was so unprepared to deal with earthquake preparedness, especially in the late 1980's. Source: Langley Planning Department, 1986. Pg. 3. 58 After spending over a year gathering information on emergency preparedness planning from all over the Pacific Rim, especially from Japan and California, the Emergency Response Committee adapted what it felt to be the best plans into an Emergency Response Planning Manual designed specifically for Langley School District. In many sections, the manual draws most extensively from the Guidebook for Developing a School Earthquake Safety Program produced by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the United States, especially the sections regarding earthquake procedures for classrooms. The Committee incorporated what they found to be the best ideas of many plans and created a plan that was suitable to the characteristics of Langley School District. School Emergency Response Plans in Langley are to include detailed evacuation routes, a prescribed marshalling area to contain a first aid station and a dismissal check-point for students/parents, and a schedule for earthquake and evacuation drills. The following components are optional and include pre-assignment of duties for staff and students and an alternate emergency location in the event the school cannot be re-entered. Emergency Response recommendations are summarized in Appendix E. The Emergency Response Committee had no intention or mandate to develop a plan for every emergency situation. Instead the aim was to provide a framework that schools could use in developing preparedness plans specific to each school's situation. "The intent of the manual is to give basic information on safety procedures which can be adapted according to the situation, rather than serve as a panacea for every situation" (Emergency Response Planning Manual for School District No. 35:2). 59 Langley School District did purchase first aid kits for each school at a cost of $240.00 per kit. The principal is responsible for earthquake preparedness plans at each school. Schools are required to submit to the school district a report on the number of preparedness drills undertaken during the year. Also, a yearly report is filed by each school indicating what the surrounding community is able to supply regarding emergency provisions. In the fall, questionnaires are sent home with students and returned indicating whether food, shelter, water or first aid supplies can be provided. Thus, every school makes use of the resources of the surrounding neighbourhood. A sample of the neighbourhood questionnaire that Langley School District sends home to parents/guardians each year is presented in Appendix F. Interviews with several principals indicated a mixed reaction among school administrators regarding the Emergency Response Planning Manual. Some principals felt the manual was very comprehensive in its approach to earthquake preparedness and they were quite satisfied with the measures taken by the school district. Other principals were not so enthusiastic. One principal indicated that the Emergency Response Manual is "a useless piece of material, especially when it hasn't been updated once." The same principal also felt that the manual did not address the problem of how to respond to an earthquake and that virtually anyone could devise an evacuation plan. However, this was an untypical response, for most principals interviewed found the Emergency Response Manual an adequate resource. Since preparedness plans must be developed at each individual school in the Langley School District, a small sample of schools was studied in order to assess the 60 overall impact of the district's response to earthquake preparedness. As is the case in Coquitlam, most Langley schools sampled developed similar earthquake preparedness plans. All sample schools practice and report earthquake drills on a regular basis and school staff are assigned specific responsibilities in the event of an earthquake, such as administration of first aid. Information newsletters are sent home to parents as well as the neighbourhood resources form mentioned earlier that is presented in Appendix F and some schools bring in guest speakers to address earthquake preparedness issues. All sample schools have individuals trained in emergency first aid and allocate up to $1,000 of the school's yearly budget for earthquake preparedness supplies. Several schools also relied on the fundraising efforts of parent advisory councils to supply additional funds for earthquake preparedness. In terms of public response, the school district board office received few calls regarding earthquake preparedness after the Northridge quake in January 1994. One school district official suspected that public perception of earthquake risk is relatively low in Langley as compared to Vancouver or Coquitlam. One vice-principal stated that there probably was not much public awareness about earthquake preparedness in Langley and that most people probably were not aware of the risks associated with earthquakes. Other teaching staff suggested that because a big earthquake has not yet occurred in Langley, many people take the position that it will not happen in the future. If public perception of earthquake risk is low, this would indicate that parents and the general public were not a significant factor in pressuring the school district to develop an earthquake preparedness program. Again, the most significant factor in 61 terms of the approach taken toward earthquake preparedness planning in Langley School District is key personnel. POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS OF THE LANGLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT APPROACH As in the Vancouver and Coquitlam case studies, the explanations of interest group pressure, influence of key personnel, availability of community and magnitude of risk are used to assess the most significant factor in how earthquake preparedness planning was undertaken in the Langley School District. INFLUENCE OF INTEREST GROUPS Interviews indicated that parents did not exert pressure on the Langley School District to address the issue of earthquake preparedness. Rather, school administrators indicated that parents showed interest in earthquake preparedness and were willing to assist the school district in addressing preparedness issues after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Langley parents did not form parent committees to lobby the school district or provincial government as was the case in Vancouver. The lack of parental pressure regarding earthquake preparedness meant that the Langley School District did not have to come up with extra funds to address parental concerns. Of the three school districts under study, Langley is the only one that is a decentralized district. A decentralized district means that each individual school, with the input of administrators, teachers, and parents gets to decide how it will spend its allocation of funds from the school district as opposed to districts where the school board 62 designates how funds will be spent. This means that if there had been significant pressure by parent groups, some individual schools might have been forced to spend more money on earthquake preparedness. KEY PERSONNEL As in the Vancouver and Coquitlam cases, influence of key personnel seems to be the most important factor in the approach taken to earthquake preparedness planning. In response to the concern over earthquake safety that resulted from the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, Langley School District formed an Emergency Response Committee composed of members who were most interested in earthquake preparedness or had expertise that would useful to preparedness planning, such as first aid training. The committee then undertook over a year of information gathering to adapt what they thought were the best preparedness plans for the Langley situation. Clearly, the Committee had control of what kind of emergency preparedness framework would be developed for the district. A committee approach also ensured that a decentralized approach would be taken, since the committee was composed of teachers and administrators from individual schools rather than district managers. The Committee also recognized that there was little money available for emergency preparedness planning and thus never considered using the expertise of an outside consultant. They did, however, analyze many already established plans in others areas of the Pacific Rim, and in that regard did not rely exclusively on their own expertise. A lack of money also meant that emergency supplies such as food and shelter items were deemed fringe items and not essential to the basics of a 63 preparedness plan. However, some schools have gone ahead and established quite detailed and thorough plans on their own. COMMUNITY WEALTH Despite the relative wealth of Langley District Municipality, no extra money was made available by the Langley community. Thus, a very basic plan was established. MAGNITUDE OF RISK Langley School District buildings are mostly of wood construction and consequently there is not the same concern over seismic safety of buildings as in Vancouver, where a number of schools are constructed of unreinforced masonry. Also, Langley, in comparison to Vancouver, does not have nearly the same population density nor the same building density. Magnitude of risk in Langley School District appears to have had significant impact on earthquake preparedness planning. That is, risk factors are somewhat less than in Vancouver and Coquitlam and also magnitude of risk was perceived to be less, so earthquake preparedness planning did not take on the proportions that it did in Vancouver. 64 CHAPTER FIVE FINDINGS Chapters Two, Three and Four provided an analysis of three divergent approaches taken in regard to earthquake preparedness planning in the school districts of Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley. Since Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley school districts were confronted with the same problem, that of developing an earthquake preparedness plan, one might expect that convergent approaches would be taken by the three districts. However, the case studies reveal that significant divergence exists in the approaches taken toward earthquake preparedness planning. Chapter One indicated that four relevant factors required analysis in regard to earthquake preparedness planning in the three school district case studies. These factors are amount of money spent, centralization versus decentralization, reliance on external expertise and thoroughness of the plan. Table 6, below, presents a brief comparative overview of the four preparedness planning outcomes in the three school districts. 65 TABLE 6. COMPARISON OF EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS PLANNING OUTCOMES IN VANCOUVER, COQUITLAM AND LANGLEY SCHOOL DISTRICTS Vancouver Coquitlam Langley FACTOR Money spent 4 $311,000 $90,000 $10,560 Centralized yes no no Decentralized no yes yes Externa) expert yes no yes Thoroughness first second third 4 money spent is in the first year of each district's earthquake preparedness plan. As indicated in Table 6, the amount of money spent in the first year of each school district's earthquake preparedness plan was greatest in the Vancouver School District. On a per student basis, Vancouver spent $5.68/student, Coquitlam spent $3.22/student, and Langley spent $.58/student. Vancouver School District also has a yearly budget for earthquake preparedness; whereas Coquitlam and Langley School Districts do not. One manager at the Coquitlam School District Board Office indicated that if money is needed for earthquake preparedness, then funds have to be "stolen" from other budget areas, such as safety. In the Langley School District, most individual schools allocate a small portion of their school budget to earthquake preparedness. The figure for this allocation runs up to $1,000 per school year depending on the specific school. Also, Coquitlam and Langley school districts rely to a large extent on parents and parent advisory councils for raising earthquake preparedness funds. 66 Also indicated in Table 6 is which school district took a centralized or decentralized approach to earthquake preparedness planning. Vancouver School District managers indicated a centralized approach was taken due to the size of the district and because earthquake preparedness is considered an equal necessity at all schools. In Coquitlam and Langley school districts, a decentralized approach was taken to earthquake preparedness. Coquitlam School District managers indicated a decentralized approach was taken in that district because each school was better able to come up with the best preparedness plan for its specific situation. Langley School District intended only to provide a framework, in the form of an Emergency Response Manual, so that each school would have to develop its own plan. Table 6 also shows which school district relied on external expertise. Vancouver School District hired an outside consultant from California to develop a district-wide Master Emergency Preparedness Plan. Langley School District also relied on external expertise in the form of already established earthquake preparedness plans from around the Pacific Rim area. Coquitlam School District, on the other hand, relied on the expertise and direction of its own in-house Emergency Preparedness Committee. Table 7 below, presents a rank order for the thoroughness of earthquake preparedness plans among the three districts. Since British Columbia does not provide any criteria for school district earthquake plans, except for a weak attempt at recommendations in the 1989 guidebook, United States standards for earthquake preparedness plans in school districts are used to rank thoroughness in the Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley school districts. The criteria established by the 67 Federal Emergency Management Agency (1990) in the United States are listed in Table 7. The extent to which each school district met those requirements is also indicated in Table 7. A minus sign indicates the criterion was not met. A plus sign indicates the criterion was met. It should be noted that in the Coquitlam and Langley school districts, the efforts of individual schools must be considered. Therefore a sample representation of what schools in these two districts have undertaken in regard to earthquake preparedness forms the basis for whether or not Coquitlam and Langley school districts meet the thoroughness criteria. 68 TABLE 7. COMPARISON OF THOROUGHNESS OF EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS PLANS IN VANCOUVER, COQUITLAM AND LANGLEY SCHOOL DISTRICTS Vancouver Coquitlam Langley Chain of Command - + + Evac. Procedures + + + First Aid + + + Search & Rescue + - -Record Keeping - + -Building Security + + -Damage- + - -Assessment Communication + - -Staff Roles + + + Drills + + + Hazard Ident. + + + Hazard Reduc. + + -Supplies + - -As indicated in Table 7, Vancouver ranks first in terms of thoroughness, Coquitlam second and Langley third. Preparedness plan components such as evacuations procedures, drills, first aid, and staff role assignments were part of each district's plan. Vancouver undertook additional measures including setting up a communications system, supplying search and rescue kits, and providing training in 69 damage assessment. Coquitlam and Langley did not meet the emergency supply criterion since money for supplies is not guaranteed in the budget each year. However, while Vancouver School District ranks highest in terms of thoroughness in Table 7, one must remember that the Vancouver School District has not implemented its Master Emergency Preparedness Plan entirely successfully. Records of drills and chain of command are still not filed on a regular basis with the district Emergency Preparedness Coordinator by each school. EXPLANATIONS The theoretical arguments put forward in Chapter One predicted certain outcomes in the approach to earthquake preparedness planning. Pluralist theory suggested that more costly and thorough plans would be developed where there was greater interest group pressure and that there would also be a tendency toward decentralization in order to accommodate interest group concerns. In regard to developing a more costly and thorough plan, the Vancouver School District case does support this theory. The Vancouver School District spent the most among the three school districts on earthquake preparedness planning and developed the most thorough plan. Interest group pressure was the greatest in Vancouver; however, this did not result in a decentralized approach by the Vancouver School District. In Coquitlam and Langley school districts there was not any significant interest group pressure. Coquitlam and Langley also spent substantially less on earthquake preparedness than did Vancouver and developed plans that were not as thorough. In contrast to Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley followed a decentralized approach. 70 Thus, it appears that interest group pressure is a factor in the amount of money spent on earthquake preparedness and also in how thorough a preparedness plan is, indicating that spending patterns and thoroughness are consistent with the predictions of pluralist theory. Pluralist theory, however is not useful in explaining reliance on external expertise or a centralized approach versus a decentralized approach. Institutionalist theory predicts that the preferences and actions of state officials matter, but could not predict how these preferences or actions would affect the outcomes of earthquake preparedness planning. In all three school districts the influence of key personnel was a significant factor in the development of earthquake preparedness plans. In Vancouver, school district managers acted as a cohesive group to address earthquake preparedness following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and after the school district's own surveys showing the lack of emergency preparedness in Vancouver schools. The interest in and concern with earthquake preparedness by school district managers was the most important factor in the approach taken to preparedness planning. In contrast, the relative lack of salience in regard to earthquake risk in Coquitlam and Langley may have provided a greater amount of autonomy for school district managers, teachers and school administrators. In Coquitlam, earthquake preparedness initiatives began in 1986 well before the Loma Prieta quake. The influence of municipal officials in Coquitlam was the most important factor in initiating school district response to earthquake preparedness. In Langley School District, school district managers and school administrators, prompted by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, initiated an internal response to earthquake preparedness and formed an 71 Emergency Response Committee that was to establish an earthquake preparedness plan for Langley School District In the most basic sense, greater community wealth was predicted to result in more money contributed to the school district. More money would ensure a more costly and thorough plan. Greater community wealth and the contribution of more money to the school district does not indicate whether a centralized or decentralized approach would be taken or if external expertise would be used. According to 1991 Canada census data presented in Table 1, Coquitlam and Langley should have been more likely to contribute extra funds to emergency preparedness planning than Vancouver. However, that was not the case and it was Vancouver that contributed extra funds by way of referendum in 1990. However, one must remember the fact that voter turn-out is greatest in the more wealthy Vancouver districts and thus one would expect more wealthy voters to designate funds for earthquake preparedness planning. Thus, availability of community wealth as an explanation of outcomes is inadequate without a detailed examination of voting patterns. Also, the block grant amounts for school district budgets provided by the B.C. Provincial Government further reduces the explanatory power of availability of community wealth. The explanatory usefulness of magnitude of risk in the development of earthquake preparedness plans is significant. The greater the magnitude of risk, the more costly and more thorough one would expect an earthquake preparedness plan to be. However, magnitude of risk does not indicate whether a centralized or decentralized approach would be taken or whether external expertise would be sought. In Chapter One, the Vancouver School District was ranked as having the greatest risk 72 due to earthquakes. Coquitlam ranked second and Langley ranked third. The Vancouver School District does have more school buildings constructed of unreinforced masonry than Coquitlam and Langley. Unreinforced masonry poses greater seismic risk than reinforced concrete or wood, of which most schools in Coquitlam and Langley are made. There is also a much larger population density in Vancouver than in Coquitlam or Langley and also in Vancouver there are several areas, such as the West End, where building density is much greater than in Coquitlam or Langley. Greater population density and building density pose seismic risk in the event of an earthquake. Public perception of risk appears to have been greater in Vancouver where interest groups were aware of the seismic hazards associated with Vancouver schools. Thus, greater risk in Vancouver predicts that a more costly and thorough earthquake preparedness plan would be developed and this was the case. Less risk in Coquitlam and Langley predicts that less costly and less thorough earthquakes preparedness plans would be developed and this was also the case. In order for magnitude of risk to constitute a significant factor in the development of earthquake preparedness plans, risk factors must be recognized by the public, interest groups, or government as was the case in the Vancouver School District where both parent groups and school district managers were aware of seismic risk. While institutionalist theory really only asserts that institutions and the preferences and actions of state officials matter, it is the most important explanatory argument in regard to the development of earthquake preparedness plans in Vancouver, Coquitlam and Langley school districts. The influence of key personnel and the autonomy with which they were able to act greatly affected the outcomes of 73 earthquake preparedness planning in the three school districts. Interest group pressure appears to have been a factor in how much money was spent and in how thorough preparedness plans were since greater interest group pressure indicates preparedness plans will be more costly and more thorough. The availability of community wealth was not an effective explanatory argument. Magnitude of risk is significant in explaining the outcomes of the case studies. !n the Vancouver School District, where magnitude of risk was greatest, a more costly and more thorough earthquake preparedness plan was developed. Magnitude of risk may also have been a factor in motivating school district managers to address earthquake preparedness. That is, in Vancouver where the risk factors are greatest, school district managers formed a cohesive group to address the problem. CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS Disaster policy covers a wide spectrum of activities ranging from mitigation and preparedness initiatives to response and recovery plans. Recently, however, focus has turned to the importance of preventing loss of life and property damage in the event of natural disasters. Consequently, preparedness activities have become increasingly important as limits to funding for response and recovery activities are reached. However, preparedness activities involve economic and political costs that are discrete and manifest, while preparedness benefits are diffuse and realized in the future, if at all. Since disaster policy is highly affected by political salience, natural disaster problems rank relatively low on the political agenda. In the wake of a disaster, however, the salience of disaster preparedness rises significantly. Focusing events 74 also serve to increase the political salience of disaster policy and to bring natural disaster problems onto the political agenda. Such was the case with the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California which served as a focusing event for both Vancouver and Langley school districts. In regard to the above observations, several conclusions can be drawn regarding disaster policy and emergency preparedness. First, if magnitude of risk is significant and recognized, then the natural disaster problem has a greater chance of being addressed in an adequate manner. Second, if interest groups focus on a natural disaster problem, then there is more likelihood of action being taken to address the problem in a more thorough manner than if interest groups were not involved. Third, current fiscal restraint indicates that funding, both public and private, will affect the outcome of natural disaster preparedness planning in regard to thoroughness. Fourth, the preferences and actions of government officials cannot be ignored in regard to natural disaster problems. The degree to which natural disaster problems occupy the scope of a government official's preferences and actions will determine the extent to which disaster policy receives attention in many instances. In those British Columbia school districts in which earthquake preparedness plans have not received significant attention, this study may prove useful in addressing the various aspects of earthquake risk. Since school districts outside the Greater Vancouver Regional District are at less risk due to earthquakes, the influence of key personnel will likely be the most important factor in determining the outcomes of earthquake preparedness plans, especially where earthquake preparedness is of low salience. 75 RECOMMENDATIONS Several recommendations can be made from this thesis. First, an expensive plan is not necessarily the best plan. Emergency supplies, such as water pouches which are expensive for school districts to purchase, can be supplied by students in their own "comfort kits" brought from home. Second, successful implementation is crucial to ensuring that an emergency plan will work effectively in the event of a natural disaster. In this regard, school districts considering the development of earthquake preparedness plans should involve personnel from school district administration, teachers, principals, parents and students who are interested in earthquake preparedness. There is a great deal of information and research available on earthquake preparedness and having a well informed committee composed of a variety of members may eliminate any need for an outside consultant. And third, the Provincial Emergency Program Act in the future should treat schools separately from other public buildings. A separate set of guidelines in the Emergency Program Act for school districts would ensure a minimum measure of consistency and safety for schools througout the province of British Columbia. 76 REFERENCES CITED Angel, Tony. "Report on Seismic Evaluation and Upgrading of Schools in Vancouver, B.C." February, 1992. Association of Professional Engineers of British Columbia. "Seismic Risk in British Columbia." 1988 Brief to the British Columbia Government. Bish, Robert. Local Government in British Columbia, 2nd Edition. {Richmond, B.C.: Union of British Columbia Municipalities, 1990). Boei, William. "Vancouver Stable in Quake, Planner Says" Vancouver Sun, Nov. 12, 1987. Pg.A13 Bula, Frances. "Parents Take Steps to Ready Schools for Earthquakes" Vancouver Sun, Nov. 18,1989. Pg. A8 Bula, Frances. "School Quake Fix Could Cost Millions" Vancouver Sun. June 30, 1990. Pg. A1 California State Education Code. Division 3. Part 21. Chapter 2. Article 10.5 s. 35295. Chow, Wyng. "City School Board to Finance Own Study of Quake Hazards" Vancouver Sun, Nov. 2,1989. Dahl, Robert. Who Governs? (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961). Downs, Anthony. Inside Bureaucracy. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1967). Drabek, Thomas, Alvin Mushkatel, and Thomas Kiljanek. Earthquake Mitigation Policy: The Experience of Two States. (Boulder, Co.: Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado, 1983). Emergency Program Act (S.B.C. 1993, c.41). Farley, A.L. Atlas of British Columbia: People, Environment and Resource Use. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1979). Federal Emergency Management Agency. Guidebook for Developing a School Earthquake Safety Program. (Washington, D.C.: Earthquake Education Program, 1990). 77 Godschalk, David and David Brower. Mitigation Strategies and Integrated Emergency Management. Public Administration Review, Special Issue 1985:64-71. Ham, Christopher and Michael Hill. The Policy Process in the Modern Capitalist State, 2nd Edition. (London, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993). Hoberg, George. Pluralism By Design: Environmental Policy and the American Regulatory State. (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1992). Kingdon, John. Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Choices. (Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1984). Langley Planning Department. "A Guide to Planning and Development in Langley Township." 1986. March, James. Decisions and Organizations. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988). May, Peter and Walter Williams. Disaster Policy Implementation: Managing Programs Under Shared Governance. (New York: Plenum Press, 1986). May, Peter J . , Edward Fox and Nancy Stark Hasan. Anticipating Earthguakes: Risk Reduction Policies and Practices in the Puget Sound and Portland Areas. (Seattle: Institute for Public Policy and Management, 1989). Ministry of Attorney General. "British Columbia Earthquake Response Plan Summary." (Victoria, B.C.: Provincial Emergency Program, 1993). Ministry of Education. "School Earthquake Safety Guidebook." (Victoria: Schools Facilities, 1989). Munro, Margaret. "There's Real Reason to Quake," Vancouver Sun. Jan. 5, 1994a. Pg.A1. Munro, Margaret. "Few British Columbians Have Heeded Advice to be Prepared," Vancouver Sun, Jan. 18,1994b. Pg. A3. Nordlinger, Eric. On the Autonomy of the Democratic State. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981). Polsby, N.W. Community. Power and Political Theory. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963). Rainer, J.H., A.M. Jablonski, K.T. Law and D.E. Allen. Earthquake Damage in the San Francisco Area and Projection to Greater Vancouver. (Vancouver: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 1990). 78 Rainer, J.H., A.M. Jablonski, K.T. Law and D.E. Allen. "The San Francisco Area Earthquake of 1989 and Implications for the Greater Vancouver Area." Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 17(5), 1990:798-812. Rossi, Peter H., James D. Wright and Eleanor Weber Burdin. Natural Hazards and Public Choice: The State and Local Politics of Hazard Mitigation. (New York: Academic Press, 1992). School District No. 35 (Langley). "Emergency Response Planning Manual." n.d. School District No. 43 (Coquitlam). "Emergency Preparedness Handbook, 1993-1994." Selkregg, Lidia L., Richard E. Ender, Stephen C. Johnson, John C.K. Kim, Susan E. Gorski, Jane Preuss and Duncan Kelso. Earthquake Hazard Mitigation: Planning and Policy Implementation - The Alaska Case. (Anchorage, Alaska: University of Alaska, 1984). Spangle, William E., (editor). Pre-Earthquake Planning for Post-Earthquake Rebuilding. (Los Angeles: Southern California Preparedness Project, 1987). Transit Bridge Group. "Seismic Risk Assessment of Vancouver School Board Schools." Final Report to Vancouver School Board, May 1990. Truscott, Brian. "School Study Urged," Vancouver Courier, Nov. 29,1989. Truscott, Brian. "Parents Worry Schools Not Earthquake Safe," Vancouver Courier, Jan. 31, 1990. Vancouver School Board Memorandum from Rod Waterlowto Planning and Building Committee, February 8,1994. Vancouver School Board Notes, July 13,1990. Vancouver School Board Notes, May 3,1994. Vancouver School Board. "Ready Reference, 1993-1993." Vancouver Sun, "Shaky Quake-Preparation," Jan. 21,1994. Pg. A16 Ventura, Carlos E. and Norman D. Schuster. Seismic Risk and Hazard Reduction in Vancouver, British Columbia. Draft Proceedings of Guidelines for Developing Earthquake Damage Scenarios for Urban Areas, NATO Advanced Research Workshop, October 11,1993, Istanbul, Turkey. Watts, Richard. "Residents Will Have 3 Days on Own when Major Quake Targets Victoria," Times Colonist. Jan. 18,1994. Pg. A12. Weaver, R. Kent and Bert Rockman, (eds.). Do Institutions Matter? Government Capabilities in the United States and Abroad. (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1993). 80 APPENDIX A. LIST OF OFFICES IN WHICH INTERVIEWS WERE CONDUCTED B.C. Ministry of Education B.C. Provincial Emergency Program City of Coquitlam -Planning Department City of Vancouver -Planning Department -Vancouver Emergency Management Disaster Preparedness Resource Centre, University of British Columbia School District No. 35 (Langley) -Board Office -District elementary and secondary schools -District parent groups School District No. 39 (Vancouver -Business Administration Department -Planning and Facilities Services -District elementary and secondary schools -District Parent Representatives School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) -Business Services Department -Facilities Department -District elementary and secondary schools -District parent groups 2« Appendix B. Consultants' Recommendations for Master Emergency Preparedness Plan. CONSULTANT'S POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS YR tl t YR n % YR #3 $ YR #4 YR #5 5-YEAR NO. DESCRIPTION $ J TOTAL 1 Enarganey Progran Appotntaants 68.000 68.000 68.000 68.000 68.000 340.000 2 District Pol ley on Staff Assignments 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 Enarganey Response Tarn Develepaent 5.700 0 0 0 0 5.700 4 Enarganey Raaponsa Taass Training 272,763 419.838 98.838 124.858 0 916.295 S Energeney Suppltaa In Schools 231.860 243.659 109.285 109.285 109.285 803.374 6 Containers for Enarganey Suppltaa 331,500 0 0 0 0 331.500 7 Enarganey Rasponsa and Racovary Funds 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 Ccanunlcatlons Equlpaant 0 0 17.353 0 0 17.353 9 Enarganey Power Supply 8.854 8.854 8.854 8.854 8.854 44.270 10 Earthquafca Oetactton/Alara Equlpaant 45.000 80.000 45.000 80.000 60.000 270.000 11 Natural 6as Satanic Shut-Off Valvaa 0 0 171.595 171.595 171.595 514,785 12 Building Oanago Assessaent Training 0 36.750 23.375 23.375 23.375 106.875 13 Psychological Asslstanca Training 0 36.750 23.375 23.375 23.375 108.875 14 Enarganey Recaption Contra Progran 0 0 0 0 N 0 0 IS llcanssd Caro Facility Llasllltlts 0 0 0 0 0 0 IS Mutual Aid Arranganants 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 Voluntoor Identification Prograa 0 0 0 0 0 0 18 Disaster Service Workers Covaraga 0 Q 0 0 0 0 19 larthquaka Hons Preparedness Progrea, 0 0 . 3.500 500 500 4,500 20 Lagtslatlvo Mandatas for Praparadnass 0 0 0 0 0 0 21 Evacuation Routes and Araaa Audit 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 Oangareua Sooda lapact Assassnants 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 Racordad Madia Aiiimimaanf Packages 0 0 0 0 0 0 24 Rasponsa Taaas Refresher Training 0 65.892 98.838 98.838 58.989 322.837 25 tanual Review of Enarganey Plana 0 5.903 5.903 5.903 5.903 23.612 28 Annual Earthquake Raaponsa Exarclaaa 14.168 14.188 14.168 14.166 14.168 70.830 27 Consultant Services 14.188 14.186 14.168 14.168 14.168 70.830 mmmmmmm'm • • • • • • • • 3.949.338 ANNUAL COST ESTIMATE TOTALS 992.009 973.976 7 0 2 . 2 a 722.915 558.188 Source: Vancouver School Board Memorandum from Rod Waterlow to Planning and Faci l i t ies, February 8, 1994. 82 APPENDIX C. STATUS OF VANCOUVER SCHOOL BOARD MASTER EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN In July 1991, the Vancouver School Board adopted as a basis for future action the recommendations for a Master Emergency Preparedness Plan, developed by emergency planning consultants. These recommendations included the creation of an Emergency Preparedness Coordinator position. The Master Emergency Preparedness Plan is based on the premise that if a major disaster occurs during school hours, formal emergency response personnel may not be available to respond to the needs of teaching staff and students for some time. The overall approach of the Master Emergency Preparedness Plan is to increase the level of self-sufficiency of each school during the two to three day period after a disaster. Some of the high priority components of the plan are as follows: Provision of Emergency Supplies. Every school has been supplied with a battery operated radio, a loud hailer, a disaster first aid kit, water pouches, emergency space blankets and large garbage bags to supplement the blankets. Installation of Emergency Supply Containers. Emergency preparedness supplies containers have been installed at all 73 elementary schools, the 18 secondary school and the 18 annexes. Damage Assessment Training. Almost all school administrators and more than 250 building engineers, head custodians and assistants have received this training, the purpose of which is to give key personnel at each school the information and understanding to determine whether a building is structurally safe for re-entry after an evacuation following an earthquake. Search and Rescue Kits. Five-person Search and Rescue Kits have been supplied to all schools, and to additional sites, including the Workshops and the Administration Building. Emergency Planning Standards. Standard emergency procedures are being developed for use at all schools and district sites. 83 APPENDIX D. COQUITLAM EMERGENCY EARTHQUAKE KITS Coquitlam School District's earthquake plan stresses that a response plan should provide short term shelter of one to two hours for the entire school population and long term shelter up to 72 hours for students whose parents are unable to collect them. Coquitlam School District has supplied Emergency Kit School Trauma Packs to each school. Contents are as follows: 1 flashlight and battery 4 hard hats 2 100 foot rolls of quarter inch poly rope 4 dust masks 4 pairs of work gloves 4 pairs of safety gloves 6 survival blankets 2 rolls survey tape (1" x 300') 2 speed splints 2 quick splints 10 reflective arm bands 1 pocket knife with multiple blades 1 roll of toilet paper 1 emergency whistle 1 first aid manual 1 first aid pack in waterproof plastic or nylon Each school is requested to make the following additions: 1 master list of all students student identification tags 1 card file of parents or designates for check off 1 crescent wrench 1 portable radio (if unobtainable, a car radio will suffice) 1 megaphone (optional) 1 whistle In each classroom there is also an additional 'Grab and Carry Kit' consisting of the following: 1 flashlight and battery 26 dust masks 26 garbage bags (25 green and 1 orange) 1 whistle 1 roll toilet paper 1 zip lock bag and 1 first aid pack in waterproof plastic or nylon package 84 APPENDIX E. LANGLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT EMERGENCY RESPONSE RECOMMENDATIONS Langley School District has set out a number of recommendation in its Emergency Response Manual in regard to preparedness planning. The recommendations include: -that each school establish a pattern of at least four evacuation drills per school year and include the schedule for the drills as part of the School Emergency Response Plan; -that each school maintain emergency first aid kits, stored in the office area of each school; -that schools develop a registration form for students which would include vital information and signed authorization by parents/guardians for the release of their children to specified individuals in the event of an emergency situation -that schools consider having a least one staff member trained in Emergency Response First Aid which includes triage, in addition to the staff currently trained in basic first aid techniques 85 APPENDIX F. LANGLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT NEIGHBOURHOOD RESOURCE FORM SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 35 (LANGLEY) School: Year: . Neighbourhood Emergency Resources Form IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY I would be willing to supply the school with the following equipment: (example: blankets, shovels, tent(s), tarp(s), crowbar(s), flashlight(s), water, food, medical supplies, RV unit, communication equipment, other). Please list below those items you would be willing/able to supply. Name: Signed: Date: Phone: (home) (work) 

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