Preparing For Another Great Quake

Anchorage Times photographer Joe Rychetnik was sent to Valdez to cover the destruction in the port town, March 28-29, 1964. JOE RYCHETNIK — Anchorage Times / ADN archive

Alaska Shield 2014: Full-Scale Exercise Simulates Major Quake

WARNING UA communications testing - will make a racket Thursday morning

Thursday, March 27, is the 50th anniversary of the devastating 1964 Alaska earthquake, and a number of events are planned throughout the state to prepare emergency responders and incident management teams in case such a disaster were to strike again. The University of Alaska will be participating and many campuses have planned events to coincide with Alaska Shield 2014.
The planned disaster is modeled after the 1964 Alaska earthquake. At 10:10 a.m. on March 27, the scenario—a large and far-reaching 9.2 magnitude earthquake—kicks off the exercise. This mock quake, centered near Anchorage, will last nearly five minutes and have caught most of the affected area’s population either at work or school.

Full-scale crisis response drills at UAA campuses (rescue, triage, treatment, accountability, damage assessment and power generation), Great Alaska Shakeout activities at UAS and UAA, coordinated communications for the UA as a whole, shelter operations in Juneau, Valdez and Mat-Su and activation of emergency management teams and protocols established within the UASsystem will be conducted throughout the week.
The UA System will test our emergency communications notification systems in conjunction with this exercise. We will reach out to the entire UA community using multi-modal methods: analog calls, e-mail, text messages, Alertus desktop clients, UAF Gruening speaker system, Facebook push, Twitter push and InformaCast (VoIP) instant text and audio messages. UA has set broad connectivity goals and will be able to determine effectiveness within minutes of the broadcasts.

The Alaska Shield 2014 full-scale emergency exercise extends through April 2 with exercises being conducted at various locations throughout the State of Alaska, including drop and cover drills, emergency shelters, tsunami simulations, urban search and rescue, triage and medical transport.

Alaska Shield 2014 is sponsored by the Alaska Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (DHS&EM), and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Exercise Division (NED).

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