Elementary schools have earthquake drills and office buildings fire drills — the Red Cross has disaster response drills.
Yesterday, its Burnaby disaster response centre was activated as part of a Metro Vancouver-wide emergency preparedness drill.
Karen Miller, disaster management co-ordinator with Red Cross Lower Mainland, said authorities surprised their volunteers by asking them to call the call centre.
“Part of the exercise was to test how quickly volunteer teams could be mustered for a real emergency,” she said.
Volunteers were asked, among other things, how quickly they might available on short notice.
In a real emergency, like earthquake, flood, fire or plane crash, they’d answer phones and reconnect families.
When all 44 seats are filled, the Red Cross emergency call centre can process 10,000 calls.