Cascadia Rising - what if all the water mains break?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Filling containers from the emergency water distribution system

Photos by Steven H. Robinson

Cascadia Rising is a region wide disaster drill taking place this week in areas throughout western Washington and Oregon.

The team gathers for a debriefing after the exercise
CERT members are volunteers

In planning for a year, the scenario is the aftermath of a large magnitude Cascadia Subduction Zone fault earthquake and tsunami - one of the most complex disaster scenarios that emergency management and public safety officials could face in the Pacific Northwest.

In this scenario, everything is disrupted. No cell towers, phone lines, internet. There's no power, and the tsunami has flooded all the lowlands.

The movement of the earth has broken all the water mains and disrupted the sewage treatment plants.

Testing the system

Tuesday evening in Kenmore at Kenmore Junior High School, personnel from the Northshore Emergency Management Coalition (a partnership of the City of Kenmore, the City of Lake Forest Park, Northshore Fire District, and Northshore Utility District) ran an exercise to set up a simulation for the use of an emergency water distribution system.

Checking it out

Members of the volunteer CERT team were part of the exercise. These are local residents trained in basic emergency response who have volunteered to help their community during and after disasters.

The intent of the drill was to move the distribution hub as close to the damaged areas as possible to provide clean emergency water until repairs can be made to the regular systems.


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