As some of you know, there will be a large local emergency communications exercise on the morning of Saturday, June 4. It will involve several of the local emergency communications teams as well as Emergency Management BC (PEP) and WARA’s Emergency Communications Team. We invite you to participate in the WARA emergency net on that morning between 8:30 and 10:00.
The exercise is modelled on a major provincial exercise taking place in Port Alberni on June 7-10 called Coastal Response. In Washington and Oregon states, a much bigger exercise based on the same scenario will also play out on June 7-10. It is called Cascadia Rising and you may hear some use of local repeaters by stations in the US during that exercise.
The Coastal Response scenario is based on a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of southwestern BC that generates a tsunami and widespread damage in Port Alberni and some destruction in major urban centres. We will assume the same scenario on June 4th although we will exercise only the radio communications aspect – there will be no activation of Emergency Operations Centres or deployment of first responders. In the simulation, all conventional telecommunications including the internet are damaged south of Campbell River.
When the earthquake hits at 8:30 on Saturday morning, WARA will activate its emergency network on the WARA repeater system, which is assumed to be undamaged in this scenario. You are encouraged to check in to the net and describe your situation, and listen for any bulletins from EMBC describing the earthquake. Remember, you must precede all reports describing simulated damage or injuries with “EXERCISE” to avoid alarming people who may be listening in through scanners. If you need to report a REAL emergency during an Exercise, you should say “REAL WORLD” or “NO DUFF”.
In addition, please let the net controller know if you are available as a convergent volunteer, i.e. to assist in one of the local municipal emergency communications teams. If and when teams need such assistance, they will let WARA know via the net and we will let you know the correct call-in frequency for the municipality where you are willing and able to assist. Individuals who took the recent Convergent Volunteer training, and who have let us know of their interests in participating in the exercise, will receive advance notice of the posting but we would like them to call into the net anyway as part of the simulation.
The WARA net will run until approximately 10 am; the exercise will continue until noon.
Further information on this exercise is available from Andy Woodsworth, andy at woodsworth dot ca
Len Howland VE7BSA WARA Emergency Communications Director