Thursday, April 8, 2010
The Oregon Civil Air Patrol will be holding a major Disaster Relief Exercise on April 17th and 18th, which will coincide with National Earthquake Prepardness Month. lt will create an environment that is as close as possible to that of a real statewide disaster involving an Earth Quake event along the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of Oregon. Every attempt is being made to insure that all participants will be faced with realistic requests and taskings.
The Oregon CAP will be working closely with other state agencies and will involve approximately 100 personnel and 7 specially equipped search aircraft including a Cessna C-182 which is
equipped with a Power Sonic airborne PA system used for Tsunami warnings. This same
aircraft and system played an important role during the recent search for 4 year old Zoey
Dorsey early last month. The system is being credited as being instrumental in assisting
in the successful life saving search effort due to it's ability to broadcast a high quality, easily
heard recorded message from Zoey's grandmother, encouraging her to hold on and to help
let ground searchers know where she was. Demo video @ http://www.showoffmedia.biz/cap.html
The major focus of the simulated environment will create an expected possible real world situation in which the Northern part of the state has received limited damage from the event while the Southern coastal area will have received massive damage to its infrastructure. In a situation like this, CAP would establish a functional Incident Command Post at it's Aurora Airport facility located on the Willamette Aviation campus at the North end of the airport, where it has a pre-established working infrastructure and contact with the Oregon Joint Operations Center in Salem. The CAP scenario will further simulate that the CAP's Medford Airport operations center facility is usable but is lacking any infrastructure such as electricity, telephone, cell phone, or internet. In this case, the Medford CAP facility will be designated as a remote staging area using generators for power and radio communications to interact with the Aurora ICP.
To facilitate emergency communications, the CAP will be working closely with the Navy-Marine Corps Military Auxiliary Radio System,( MARS), in addition to CAP's regular radio communications network. The MARS system has the capability to send radio based telecommunications, email, documents and photos across the nation using secure radio network frequencies.
The media is invited to attend the exercise, both in Portland and Medford, to gain an understanding of the potential impact of such a major event and how volunteer agencies, such as the CAP which is an auxiliary of the United States Air Force, will work closely with various local and state agencies to respond to such major incidents.
Advance notification of media intent to attend would be appreciated.
Please email intent to attend to Thomas Traver firstname.lastname@example.org
Official government geological studies support the prediction that such a major event will occur, but no clear time table is presently available.