Earthquake Exercise – “Cascadia Rising”

Earthquake Exercise – “Cascadia Rising”

June 7-10, 2016
Planning by Parishes and Communities

cascadia risingThis June parishes and their communities have an excellent opportunity to prepare for an earthquake. This action will coincide with an exercise titled “Cascadia Rising” June 7 to 10. The states of Oregon (Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM)) and Washington, and Province of British Columbia jointly will participate. While the Diocese does not yet know what role we may play, we will be guided by our membership in the Oregon Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (ORVOAD). Back in December, we received daily updates of potential needs during the extensive flooding. appraisal of were apprised daily of potential assistance required as a result of the flooding.

What should the preparation involve? The assumptions are that a major quake and tsunami will isolate coastal communities both from each other and the interior. Communications likely will not be available; medical services limited or none and resting solely on the communities. Moreover, even resources from the state will be so strained that communities probably will receive limited aid. Local emergency services, e.g., fire, police, ambulances, and doctors will be overwhelmed. Some of their members may themselves be casualties. Although the exercise is 5 days, an actual event may affect leave areas on their own for weeks.

Preparedness can not rest solely on community or county emergency services agencies. They must know what resources are available and who can provide them. Resources include medical, housing, and feeding at a minimum. At some point wholesale evacuations also may be required. Who will organize and coordinate them? Where will people go? These and other questions need to be resolved long before their need arises.

Participants in local planning, in addition to the emergency responders should come from many organizations, important among them are faith-based groups such as our parishes. Perhaps the most critical role to fill will be that of communications. Except for ham radio operators, there may be no other media available. When such planning has been completed, documentation should be shared with any Community/County Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) (not all counties or communities have these organizations) and with the State or Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in Salem.

The Diocesan Disaster Preparedness Program is urging each parish to participate, especially in helping identify resources that can be employed (from parish facilities to individual skills). If the community has not started comprehensive planning, the parish can encourage its conduct. Additional, and as was discovered during the December flooding, coordination of aid requires that all needs that there be a single representative for the community, e.g. COAD, and that the information flows upward. As needs are known, and will be through ORVOAD, the Diocese will also know them. There might be pressure to short-circuit the process of receiving aid. If different local organizations are requesting aid, scarce resources may be misdirected or taken from another pressing need.

As more information becomes available, it will be shared both through ORVOAD and through a separate link in the Diocesan Preparedness site. In turn, the Diocese welcomes information from parishes regarding their community and county efforts.

Currently, extensive material is available at the Oregon Emergency Management site: http://www.oregonaresraces.org/?page_id=559. Also, available on the Diocesan Disaster Preparedness site is a PowerPoint presentation which should provide good information about the exercise.

Feel free to use this Power Point presentation: Cascadia Rising Presentation-Slides-11-20-2014

3 thoughts on “Earthquake Exercise – “Cascadia Rising”

  1. I am the Jr. Warden at St. John’s (Bandon) and am a retired an engineer (43 years). I have dealt with these discussions for many years. An overlying theme is the item that could kill the most people is the collapse (structural failure) during an earthquake. I would strongly suggest that we of this diocese make a concerted effort to have our churches and other “safe” buildings reviewed (engineering analysis) and identified which would be able to withstand such a n earthquake and marked accordingly. For this to happen I would suggest that a STRONG Diocese support and leadership would be necessary.

    1. Excellent. I currently am preparing a one-hour earthquake preparedness slide show for presenting to parishes. It will work for before, between, or just after services or on a Wednesday night program. The slide show will stress preparation. But, I like you thoughts about strengthening parishes and will add this to the presentation.

      Once I get this going, we will likely that to have the ability to push this idea harder. It might also be a candidate for inclusion in Convention resolutions.
      Dick Raub, Diocesan Disaster Coordinator

  2. I am the Jr. Warden at St. John’s (Bandon) and am a retired an engineer (43 years). I have dealt with these discussions for many years. An overlying theme is the item that could kill the most people is the collapse (structural failure) during an earthquake. I would strongly suggest that we of this diocese make a concerted effort to have our churches and other “safe” buildings reviewed (engineering analysis) and identified which would be able to withstand such a n earthquake and marked accordingly. For this to happen, I would suggest that a STRONG Diocese support and leadership would be necessary.

    Your thoughts please.

    Roy A.

Comments are closed.