UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The fuel transportation system in British Columbia : attributes and vulnerabilities Brown, Allanah


Disasters can, and do lead to widespread disruption, often crippling transportation systems in complex ways. Transportation systems need to be designed not only to operate on an ordinary day; they need to be designed to respond to man-made and natural disasters. Proactive planning can allow transport to resume service, and deal with crises, as quickly as possible post-disaster. This thesis provides information to assist in the development of plans and protocols for emergency scenarios. Coastal communities throughout British Columbia (BC) are heavily dependent on maritime transportation for the supply of fuel, food, and other critical resources. Vancouver Island only has an estimated 3 days’ worth of food and fuel stored on the island. Without sufficient storage, or a means of producing these resources, coastal communities are highly vulnerable to maritime disruption. If transportation systems are disrupted for an extended period, communities can experience shortages to supply. This can lead to communities losing power, operations, and critical resources for survival. Through interviews and interactive workshops with industry stakeholders, this study brings forth issues and limitations within fuel transportation in BC. Current transportation systems are potentially ill equipped to deal with large-scale events with some response plans fragmented, and the decision-making infrastructure at times ad hoc. Improving a system’s preparedness through identification of hazards, and educating the industry could significantly aid the system’s response and revitalization post-disaster. Through review of current systems and plans, this thesis highlights persistent concerns within the system and begins to explore ways to improve the resilience of fuel distribution in BC. Through analyzing mitigation options, the validity of pro-active planning can be seen. The concerns and recommendations from this thesis could lay the foundation for building a more resilient system capable of executing effective emergency response.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International