South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency has a long history of advocating for individual and community preparedness and endeavoring to educate the residents of Pacific County on how to prepare for a major disaster such as, a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and subsequent tsunami. In June, PCEMA will be participating in a Functional Exercise to gauge the agency’s level of preparedness and its ability to support a response to such an event. A functional exercise differs from a full scale exercise, in that, during a full-scale exercise there are actual “boots on the ground” carrying out specific missions.
The Cascadia Rising Functional Exercise, which will be conducted June 7-10, 2016 will give the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency the opportunity to evaluate its ability to coordinate a response to a Cascadia Subduction Zone event. Individuals from nearly every branch of Pacific County Government will staff the Emergency Operations Center in South Bend on June 8th and June 9th and will coordinate with response partners from all over Pacific County, as well as the National Guard, the Washington State Emergency Management Division, various military, and the United States Coast Guard. On June 7 and on June 10, the Pacific County EOC will operate with PCEMA staff only to support operations in other agencies and areas.
Communication will be supported by the Pacific County RACES, a robust group of amateur radio operators that may be able to establish communications when all traditional methods of communication have failed. Not only is this group capable of establishing communication with civil authorities around the state, they have also been developing an ability to communicate directly with the military. The RACES group has proven to be an invaluable part of the PCEMA team.
The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency encourages individuals to take the time during this exercise to discuss (with your family, neighbors, and friends) and evaluate your personal preparedness and how you would respond to such an event. Please use the checklist below, provided courtesy of Chuck Wallace at Grays Harbor Department of Emergency Management.
June 7-10, 2016
Scenario: A 9.0 magnitude earthquake lasting 4-5 minutes with numerous large aftershocks. A minimum of 4 tsunami waves, 4-6 feet of subsidence and major liquefaction issues.
Do you truly know and understand the impacts to your community?
1. What is the expected damage and status of infrastructure (e.g., buildings, roads, schools, police and fire stations and utilities)?
2. What are expected damages to residential and business structures?
3. Communication - How will you accomplish it and to whom will you speak?
4. Are you and your neighbors aware of the dynamics and possible site specific impacts of earthquake and/or tsunami? Have you considered multiple aftershocks, landslides, subsidence, liquefaction, or severe weather?
5. Have you identified possible safe havens, assembly and/or shelters, along with possible alternative sites? Does your family, friends and neighbors know this information? What will you do with your pets?
6. Have you discussed the possibility of casualties in your community due to earthquakes? How and where will the injured be cared for?
7. What essential services do you believe will be available (if any)?
8. What is your expectation of time needed to restore these services?
9. What community resources might be available to use? (CERT Teams, faith-based groups etc.)
10. What resources do you believe you will need on day 1, day 4, day7, day 10 & 15 at your location? (Consider food, shelter, generators, fuel, and medical)
11. What is your expectation of a time period before assistance begins to arrive?
12. Based upon your answers, what kind of training and/or assistance would you like to see offered in your community to help prepare for disaster?
After discussing with your friends and neighbors, please send your responses along with your name and a contact number or e-mail to: Scott McDougall, Deputy Director firstname.lastname@example.org or FAX to (360) 875-9342