Kye Bay: in case of big quake/emergency

Dear Kye Bayer:

Earlier this month, our neighbour Pam Crowe hand-delivered a letter on blue paper to your door in Kye Bay (scan attached). It came on behalf of a volunteer group of Kye Bayers concerned about emergency preparedness. This email is a follow up. Do let me know if you didn’t get Pam’s letter.

Above all emergencies, a big earthquake would be most difficult: expect fires and flooding, building damage, loss of utilities, injuries to people and pets, and no outside help for many days. Geologists say a big “subduction” quake is inevitable in time. I gather there’s a 20% or 30% chance of it in the next 50 years.

There is an unstable underwater cliff just across the strait, north of Powell River. A big quake could make it collapse, creating a tsunami that could flood Kye Bay 18 minutes later. So, after the shaking stops, you should hasten to the top of the bluff, wait 30 minutes for the possible tsunami to pass below, then come back down.

The attachment describes an emergency/first aid kit that you could assemble (or buy locally from St. John Ambulance) in a backpack. You’d grab it before fleeing your home. If you don’t have one, you’ll be depending on the undoubted generosity of your neighbours…..

Pam’s letter came with a colourful sign with HELP on one side and OK on the other, paid for by the Kye Bay Ratepayers’ Association. The authorities say that, after an emergency, we should put these signs in our windows visible from the street: they’ll guide rescuers (possibly being your neighbours) checking our homes.

The Kye Bay Emergency Preparation group continues working. For instance, a community box of emergency supplies will be placed on top of the bluff. There is also a “tabletop” emergency drill planned for the group. We’ll keep you informed by email and on the Kye Bay website. Do step forward if you’d like to be actively involved.

Best wishes,

Martin Crilly
Kye Bay Rate Payers’ Association (KBRA)
290 Longview Road

Kye Bay Emergency Prep Letter March 2015. This letter offers some additional practical information on how you can prepare for an emergency.

Letter to Kye Bay Residents Regarding recent Hazard Tree Removal on Wireless Rd

December 15th , 2014

Dear Kye Bay Residents,

I would like to provide a bit of background and a few answers to some of the questions that I received both prior to and after the removal of the mature Douglas fir eagle perch tree that BC Hydro removed recently on Wireless Road. I understand the significance and emotional attachment to this marvelous tree and much thought was given prior to its removal.

I have been an arborist for BC Hydro for the last 7 years and in my first year with the company was immediately concerned about the integrity of our facilities along Wireless road and the threat that several of these large overmature, declining conifers posed. It is worth mentioning as well, that the trees in question are on road allowance (Crown Land) and not private property.

In April of this year, I once again brought them to the attention of our Vegetation Specialist in our Nanaimo office, who suggested that I wait until after the critical breeding period for eagles as there is an active nest in very close proximity to these trees. In the middle of October, a windstorm broke the top off of a stem across the road which was much younger and in a lesser state of decline than the 3 stems that we have been monitoring. This was a significant outage for BC Hydro as the clean up involved was extensive and necessitated the removal of 4 tons of contaminated soil on the road as the result of a broken transformer which leaked oil on the road. We then had to bring in a similar amount of clean soil and re-surface the road. We now had a responsibility to act in the interest of public safety.

I then met with several residents along the road, phoned a few others and coordinated a meeting with our Vegetation Specialist, Tara McCormick to address the issue. The residents had several concerns and we had a productive discussion, wherein everyone present agreed that the 2 stems with more advanced decay further down the road and leaning towards the high voltage conductor were not a concern to them, but the most significant stem in front of 353 Wireless Road was very important to them. Tara and I indicated that we would remove those 2 stems in the near future and pay for an assessment by an independent Certified Arborist with the use of a resistograph to provide better data prior to removing the 3 rd stem. We re-iterated at the end of the meeting, that if the results of the report suggested removal of the tree, that BC Hydro would have to act accordingly.

The resulting report from Verna Mumby, a local arborist indicated that removing the stem was the best course of action to provide for public safety and system reliability and to avoid obvious environmental consequences.

The tree was removed the following week by bringing in a 95 foot boom truck to remove the tree safely, as the typical 70 foot boom truck would have caused us to remove a much larger portion of the tree all at once, which is difficult in an area where there is not a lot of room to work. BC Hydro also consulted adjacent landowners and the amount of damage that would have resulted to trees on their property was not something that they were in favor of.

After the removal of the tree, BC Hydro received a few questions and concerns, such as, why was the tree not removed in larger sections so that the wood could have been used for something other than firewood. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, we were very limited for options when removing this stem. The narrow road, other utility lines, as well as our own that were in close proximity and a steep bank at the road’s edge. There are recent examples in the Sand Pines area where we left some large conifer removals (on Crown Land road allowance) in larger sections for adjacent residents to use, which is what we do when possible, but unfortunately it was not in this instance.

Several residents commented on the “soundness” of the tree and how little decay was present despite the resistograph results given by the independent arborist’s results’, which indicated extensive decay at the base of the tree . While the stem did exhibit very little decay throughout the stem, which was somewhat surprising due to the presence of fungal bodies in several instances on the stem (usually an indicator of extensive stem decay), it is important to note that the stump was left at a height of several feet above ground, at the residents’ request. If this stem were removed to ground level, there could be advanced decay present both in the butt and roots. In the storm that we experienced last Wednesday, I attended 2 sites where the wood was very sound in a cross section of the stem at 4 feet from the base (one dead and one alive), but the stem at ground level was to the point of decay that I could grab handfuls of the fiber and pull it away in chunks. See photo below. In one of those instances, the dead stem in the photo, there was a fruiting body at 10 and 16 feet from ground level. It is therefore quite possible that the eagle perch tree could also have failed at ground level despite the lack of decay further up the stem. It is also worth noting that the Phaeolus conks that were observed on the stem at a 10 foot height are a strong indicator of both root rot and butt rot. “Conks on the ground, several feet from the base, or at the base of the trunk indicate root rot rather than butt rot. Conks higher up the trunk indicate extensive butt rot.” (Common Fungi Affecting Pacific Northwest Trees – Implications for Tree Risk Assessment – Complied by Dr. Julian A. Dunster & Dr. R. Edmonds.

BC Hydro was also asked why the stem could not have been left as a wildlife tree. While this would have been our preference, trees in close proximity to areas frequented by the public, roads and steep banks are not a suitable location for leaving wildlife trees which are destined to fail in the future. In some instances, where the lower portion of the tree is still green, we perform this and monitor the tree to determine whether removal is necessary in the future.

It is also worth noting that the tree in question has resulted in 2 other outages in the past from laterals landing on, and in one instance, breaking the high voltage conductor.

While I appreciate the attachment of the residents in the area to the eagle perch tree on Wireless Rd, the tree has been dead for many years and it would not have been a responsible decision for us to leave this tree standing given the information that was in front of us.

We conducted the removal outside of the critical nesting and breeding period and there are many other suitable perch trees in the area that the eagles will be able to use in the future.

BC Hydro investigated all of the relevant environmental regulations and took a proactive approach in addressing the adjacent resident’s concerns and spent considerable time and effort after removing the trees to ensure that the area was left in a suitable manner.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any further questions or concerns.


David Damery

This email and its attachments are intended solely for the personal use of the individual or entity named above. Any use of this communication by an unintended recipient is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, any publication, use, reproduction, disclosure or dissemination of its contents is strictly prohibited. Please immediately delete this message and its attachments from your computer and servers. We would also appreciate if you would contact us by a collect call or return email to notify us of this error. Thank you for your cooperation.

Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness Information Gathering

The information gathering phase of the Kye Bay Emergency Preparedness Plan is about to begin in earnest. Within the next few days, you should receive an email from the Kye Bay Webmaster. The email contains a link to a survey which is password protected (the password is supplied). If you click the link, and enter the password, you will be led through a simple form which asks you for information that will be useful to responders in an emergency. The intention is to allow responders to quickly know things like: Who is often present at a given residence? Do responders need to be aware of potential propane leaks? Is there any equipment at a given residence that might be useful as part of a group response to an emergency?

The information submitted with this form is strictly for Kye Bay community emergency preparedness & response purposes. Residents should rest assured that the KBRA and team leaders will not be sharing this with any outside groups.

Please complete as much as you can in the form, it’s designed to make this process painless. But if you prefer to print a paper form and deliver it to either Norm Wiens or Martin Crilly, click here.

Thanks for participating. The information will be sent to
Norm Wiens (250) 339-4284, and Martin Crilly (250) 339-2001. If you questions or concerns, please contact either of them.

If you would like to participate with any of the the Neighbourhood Emergency Response teams in Kye Bay, please contact Norm or Martin.

Community Emergency Preparedness

Dear Kye Bayer,

I am writing to tell you about a special neighbourhood initiative that is underway, and to invite you to be involved. It’s about Emergency Preparedness [EP].

If there’s a big earthquake, tsunami, severe wind- or rain-storm, or area-wide fire, we may be cut off from the rest of the world for quite a long time. Perhaps the biggest threat is ‘The Big One’: we could very well experience a damaging quake sometime in our lifetime. Because Kye Bay is at the end of the line, experts advise that we may be among the last to receive attention from responders. Our experience with long power outages has demonstrated this.

There are both individual and joint steps neighbours can take to be ready before disaster strikes, so that, when it does, we can carry on until things return to normal. If you’d like to help to prepare for a collective (i.e. Kye-Bay wide by Kye Bayers) response, please read on. If you are not so inclined, please be aware that there is now a group of neighbours who, over the last few months, have been advancing their knowledge. They will be prepared, regardless, to help you and your loved ones in an emergency.

There are five teams with different roles, each led by two neighbours (see list, below). These teams will ensure that a plan exists, useful equipment is available, and people are trained to respond appropriately. The plans and data are not fully in place today, but are being developed by the individuals in the teams. All are Kye Bay residents.

Please Expect A Questionnaire

Basic information collected prior to an emergency will be a big help. For instance:

  • where are electricity generators, chainsaws, and communication gear in Kye Bay?
  • are there large propane tanks which could separate from supply lines during an earthquake?
  • how many people should be accounted for in each residence?

A questionnaire will come to you. If you’re willing to help by providing such information, please complete the form as it applies to you and return it as requested.

(Documents generated for this or other initiatives will be made available online for download on demand as well.)

An Invitation to Join a Team

The team leaders will work with anyone who is willing to help them. There is a lot of expertise in the people of Kye Bay. You have some. If you are able to please call one or more of the team leaders and let them know. Perhaps you are not able to help at the moment, but have some expertise or capabilities that might come in handy in an emergency. If so, again contact the appropriate team. If unsure about which team, you could contact any one of the Emergency Coordinators listed below.

If you have made it this far, you are persistent – at the very least – and would be a valued addition to any one of the teams on that basis alone!

Best Wishes

Martin Crilly
Kye Bay Ratepayers Association

Click here: EP Volunteer Network Contacts

EP Volunteer Network Contacts

See following for contact information for the EP coordinators and the various volunteer team leaders:


Martin Crilly (250) 339-2001
Norm Wiens (250) 339-4284
Glenda Wilson (250) 339-3598
Ann Zanbilowicz (250) 339-5301

The Teams:

First Aid: Provide on-site first aid care and emotional support to injured neighbours.

Pam Crowe (250) 334-2416
Dr. Joe Zanbilowicz (250) 339-5301

Utilities, Fire Suppression, and Damage Assessment: To reduce and/or eliminate hazards fire or damaged utilities; to conduct rapid and accurate preliminary assessment of the damage in your area, provide updated surveys of and damage the neighbourhood has sustained, and then report the findings to the Neighbourhood Coordinator.

Terri Hyde
Jim Ekdahl (250)339-3414

Search and Rescue: To locate missing neighbours and to rescue those trapped and/or injured, using safe and effective techniques.

Jasia Cocking (250) 890-0535
Sue Gage (250) 339-2801

Communications and Transportation: To provide a communications link between response teams, the Neighbourhood Coordinators and outside resources, and to provide transportation services, as required.

Martin Crilly (250) 339-2001
Norm Wiens (250) 339-4284
Glenda Wilson (250) 339-3598
Ann Zanbilowicz (250) 339-5301

Shelter and Care Giving: To provide a safe, clean environment in addition to shelter, food and care for neighbours in the immediate post disaster and/or recovery phase of an emergency.

Kerry Wiens (250) 339-4284
Nicole Allen (778) 595-5883