Tuesday morning's tsunami warning was a wake-up call for many West Coast residents, judging from the steady stream of shoppers leaving the Total Prepare store outside Victoria later that day with backpacks full of emergency supplies.
But are the people at the highest risk doing more to prepare for disaster?
A pair of University of Victoria studies have found that even when people know they live in higher risk locations for an earthquake or tsunami, they don't do much more than everyone else to get ready.
"It's strange they know they're at a greater risk objectively but they don't feel they're at a higher risk in terms of whether something's going to happen to them," Robert Gifford, a UVic professor of psychology and environmental studies, told On the Island host Gregor Craigie.
In both studies, he said, the main motivators for people who prepare are having a sense of perceived control, and having a sense of personal responsibility, "as opposed to saying 'the government should be protecting me."