May 10, 2014 12:38 pm

Amazing Disaster Rally shows importance of bikes in emergency situations

In cases of natural disasters, emergency response is key to providing aid to people and moving information and materials from one location to another. But what if vehicles are unable to access the areas in need?

People in New Westminster gathered Saturday to see how much two wheels can provide when a natural disaster hits. Up to 50 cyclists took part in the first Amazing Disaster Rally, which is designed to demonstrate the type of role cyclists can play in an emergency response.

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Part cycling rally, part emergency exercise, The Amazing Disaster Rally saw cyclists start in Queens Park and work their way through  a series of tasks and check points, over a span of 25 km that promotes emergency and safety preparedness.

“Not only will this give them some idea of emergency response and preparedness,” Inspector Phil Eastwood, New West Police said.

“But it’s also to prove that in the event of a major disaster, sometimes the easiest way of getting around the community will actually be by bike.”

Some of the tasks at hand included moving supplies, crafting of materials, and a general understanding of fire safety and emergency preparedness.  Cyclists had to safely carry envelopes with instructions, bottled water for personal use, and cargo.

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