This isn’t likely to be something you accidentally encounter and get concerned about – but just on the very slight chance you happen onto somebody who’s participating, we’re giving you the heads-up about the “Rattle in Seattle” neighborhood-preparedness simulated-earthquake drill this morning. It’s meant to test the backup communications system that’s been organized (as explained on West Seattle Be Prepared). Want to know more? Read the official news release, ahead:
Ham Radio operators and citizen teams will play a major role in a simulated 8.6 earthquake training exercise this weekend. This event brings together neighborhood volunteer responders who are part of a new neighborhood based Emergency Communication Hub program organized in communities across the city and Amateur Radio Operators trained to relay emergency messages to the City’s Emergency Operations Center . The drill, called “Rattle in Seattle ” involves a simulated earthquake featuring an epicenter 70 miles west of Seattle . During the drill, the earthquake disrupts the City’s municipal radio system that provides communications for Police, Fire, City agencies and rendering cell phones and wired telephones unusable for reporting 911 calls.
Ham Radio members of the Seattle Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) and King County Medical Services Teams (MST) that serve the Seattle Office of Emergency Management and Seattle area hospitals will use the exercise as a classroom training event. During the exercise scenario, operators will have to deal with major bridges destroyed, neighborhoods badly damaged and high casualty rates. Additional ham radio teams supporting the Seattle-King County Health Department and the Seattle Chapter of the American Red Cross will also participate.
“The purpose of the exercise is to afford communications volunteers from the community the opportunity to practice emergency communications in a simulated disaster environment” according to ACS Director, Mark Sheppard.
“Participating in a large scale city wide simulated disaster exercise like this is a valuable training tool, keeping our members prepared”, added King County Region Six MST Emergency Coordinator, Brian Daly,
The Seattle Office of Emergency Management conducts emergency communications training exercises on a regular basis with the purpose of developing strong relationships with neighborhoods to build partnerships in preparation for surviving disasters.
The hub of West Seattle participation in this morning’s drill will be a location in upper Morgan Junction.