British Columbia (BC). Office of the Auditor General. Planning for school seismic safety

This is important for communities and families to form their emergency preparedness plans. Click here or the pdf file to read the full report or an excerpt below.



The government’s rationale for the Seismic Mitigation Program is that it constitutes good public policy

No legislation explicitly requires the government to create seismic mitigation programs or provides direction for the implementation of such programs. Nevertheless, Section 3 of the School Act requires that children between 5 and 16 years of age attend education programs. The ministry has interpreted this provision as meaning that the government has a responsibility for ensuring that the environment in which these programs are delivered is a safe one for students and school staff. Meeting this responsibility calls for, among other things, providing school buildings that will offer protection from death or injury in all but the most catastrophic earthquakes.

The public policy position taken by the ministry is consistent with that endorsed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), whose 2004 report Keeping Schools Safe in Earthquakes states:

“The education of children is essential to maintaining free societies, the social and economic progress of nations, and the welfare of individuals and their families. As a result, most nations make education compulsory. However, a state requirement for compulsory education, while allowing the continued use of seismically unsafe buildings, is an inconsistent and unjustifiable practice.”




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