Cascadia Rising 2016

A Joint FEMA-OEM Catastrophic Earthquake and Tsunami Functional Exercise June 2016

The Exercise Scenario

Science points to a large 8.0-9.0 magnitude Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake ripping across the 800-mile CSZ fault line on average once every 200 to 500 years. The last major CSZ earthquake and tsunami occurred in 1700. Recent subduction zone fault earthquakes around the world underscore the similar challenges we will face when the next CSZ earthquake and tsunami occurs in our region:

    • Indonesia (2004): M9.1; 228,000 deaths

    • Chile (2010): M8.8; 500 deaths

    • Northeast Japan (2011): M9.0; 18,000 deaths

Conducting successful life-saving and life-sustaining response operations in the aftermath of a Cascadia Subduction Zone disaster will hinge on the effective coordination and integration of governments at all levels – cities, counties, state agencies, federal officials, the military, tribal nations – as well as non-government organizations and the private sector. One of the primary goals of Cascadia Rising is to train and test this whole community approach to complex disaster operations together as a joint team.

The culminating event will be a four-day functional exercise to occur June 7-10, 2016. Emergency Operations and Coordination Centers (EOC/ECCs) at all levels of government and the private sector will activate to coordinate simulated field response operations both within their jurisdictions and also with neighboring communities, state EOCs, FEMA, and major military commands.

Communications Academy Presentations

There are two Cascadia Rising presentations scheduled for Communications Academy on April 9-10. These will provide the latest information on the Cascadia Rising exercise and the amateur radio role.

“PLANNING FOR THE CASCADIA RISING EXERCISE” -- For ARES/RACES/ACS leaders including DEC’s, EC’s, RO, Regional RO’s, ACS team leaders, Government, Tribal, and NGO Emergency Managers.

This session will cover all aspects of the Amateur Radio Service (ARS) play/conduct/control during the “CASCADIA RISING” Exercise including the simultaneous ARS COMEX “WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS”. Topics will include development of local documentation (CSZ earthquake playbooks, ICS 205/217 development), regional nets, ISNAP, Winlink, RMS Express, HF Voice Nets, and handling Health and welfare Traffic).


This is a general session for all attendees and will review overall exercise preparations and specifically Amateur Radio Service (ARS) preparations for “CASCADIA RISING” – The Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake drill and the simultaneous ARS COMEX “WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS” scheduled for June 7-10, 2016. Topics included will be a review of lead up activities, results of 5th Saturday and Fall/Spring SETs, Extent of play, the ARS COMMEX “WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS”, the overall Exercise Plan, Concepts of Communication Outages to be employed during the drill, and the development of ARS local documentation. This session will also cover the use of Winlink, RMS express/ISNAP forms, HF nets, VHF and HF data traffic, repeaters, VHF/UHF simplex, and interactions with the broadcast media.


Cascadia Rising Exercise Scenario

Cascadia Rising Presentation from Communications Academy 2016

Cascadia Rising Playbook ARES/RACES Tasks

Megaquake Could Hit North America (BBC Documentary 47:53)

Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake and Tsunami (Video 21:09)

The World's Most Dangerous Fault, Cascadia (Video 5:54)

Cascadia Subduction Zone Tsunami Animation

Report makes chilling forecast on Northwest quake - Seattle Times article 3/14/2013

After Nepal earthquake, people turn to ham radio - ARSTechnica 4/28/2015

The Really Big One - New Yorker 7/20/15

Seismic Neglect - Seattle Times 2016