Originally I started writing this blog as an avenue to record the lesson plans I have festering in my cerebral cortex into a form more accessible to others. However as of late I’ve been asking more questions than providing answers which, for me, is a healthy place to be because I find that asking questions keeps me interested and engaged. Some of the themes that I would enjoy clarification on are very high level, or strategic in nature, and appear beyond my immediate application as a Ranger however I find it difficult to be aligned with the organization unless I understand my role within it. Thus it is important to ask questions and find the people that can provide you with a clear answer.
As a facilitator I have coordinated and led numerous sessions for government and industry. The key to success in every one of these facilitated sessions was to create an innovative environment where the participants could brain storm priorities, identify possibilities, flesh out some solutions and explore relationships.
How do you create an atmosphere of innovation? We all know ‘what’ we do and some of us even know ‘how’ we do it but very few of us know ‘why’ we are doing it. My facilitation work is designed to identify ‘Why’ you are doing something before exploring the ‘How’ and ‘What’ aspects of the work.
People don’t care what you do, they care about why you do it
What you do defines that which you believe
I see this as being one of the fundamental differences between being a leader and leading. People that believe what you believe will sweat blood and tears to achieve success. They won’t be doing this for you as their leader, they will be doing this for themselves.
So let me tell you what I believe and if you are similarly minded then that can be a powerful thing.
Let us start with an open ended question...
What in your opinion is the single biggest domestic concern, threat or enemy that BC Rangers should be prepared for?
You may have an answer that is very different to mine because your familiarity of the concerns in play may be very different to mine. But for me, one of the biggest things that I believe we need to pay attention to is the impending mega-thrust earthquake along the Juan de Fuca Plate with a focus on the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Fault to the north.
Subduction Zone earthquakes are the largest earthquakes in the world, and can exceed magnitude 9.0. Earthquake size is proportional to fault area, and the Cascadia Subduction Zone is a very long sloping fault that stretches from Vancouver Island to Northern California. It separates the Juan de Fuca and North America plates. Because of the very large fault area, the Cascadia Subduction Zone could produce a very large earthquake, magnitude 9.0 or greater if the rupture occurred over its whole area.
The following is from Wikipedia
Geologists suspect that Haiti’s destructive quake resulted from 250 years of seismic stress that has been building up between the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates. In fact, a group of U.S. geologists presented a study in the Dominican Republic (which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti) in 2008 saying that the region was at impending risk of an earthquake potentially even bigger than a magnitude 7.0 quake. Part of their presentation is particularly chilling in light of what happened less than two years later: “This means that the level of built-up stress and energy in the earth could one day be released resulting in an earthquake measuring 7.2 or more on the Richter Scale. This would be an event of catastrophic proportions in a city [Port-au-Prince] with loose building codes, and an abundance of shanty-towns built in ravines and other undesirable locations.”
Earthquakes are still impossible to predict with precision; in the words of one of the geologists who predicted the Haiti quake, “It could have been the next day, it could have been 10 years, it could have been 100… This is not an exact science.” But researchers have identified a handful of seismic zones around the globe that are storing up especial amounts of stress and are particularly hazardous and we are next to one of them. U.S. scientists are now saying that there is a 10 to 15 per cent chance a mega-earthquake will strike along the coast of BC in the next 50 years. 50 years from now, that number will rise to 85 percent.
“Perhaps more striking than the probability numbers is that we can now say that we have already gone longer without an earthquake than 75 per cent of the known times between earthquakes in the last 10,000 years," Prof. Chris Goldfinger, marine geologist with the Oregon State University,
- What should the priority be?
- What should we do to prepare at the Patrol level?
- Should a mega thrust earthquake hit our community what would our role be?
- What happens if the transport corridors collapse?
- What happens if food and clean drinking water run out?
- How do we organize if conventional communication devices (telephones / internet) are down?
- How do we organize?
- Electricity is expected to be down a long time – what are the repercussions?
- Do we have a standing operating procedure to address these things?
- What might our role look like should we be called to ‘Aid to Civil Power’
All great questions spark colourful dialogue and get us ready. It is our due diligence to use our imaginations and provide some basic tools for success.
On Feb 21st 2011 a magnitude 6.3 earthquake occured just off the coastline of Christchurch, NZ. Prayers to everyone down there.