During the same timeframe as B.C.’s Exercise Coastal Response, neighbouring states and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 10 are conducting an exercise called Cascadia Rising 2016. As well, Canadian federal departments involved in earthquake response will be conducting Exercise Pacific Quake and Exercise Staunch Maple. The following is a Joint Communique distributed today between participating states and B.C. The message itself forms part of the exercise to demonstrate the type of messages and collaboration the public can expect in the event of a real disaster.
Please note: This is a simulated response.
The following is a joint message by The Hon. Jay Inslee, Governor of the State of Washington; The Hon. Kate Brown, Governor of the State of Oregon; The Hon. C. L. “Butch” Otter, Governor of the State of Idaho; and The Hon. Christy Clark, Premier of the Province of British Columbia.
Joint communique - Governors of WA, ID & OR, Premier of B.C.
"Today, our region has been struck by the worst disaster we could ever imagine. The feared – and predicted – Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake occurred this morning, followed by devastating tsunami waves striking our coasts.
"Many of our coastal communities are decimated. Inland cities experienced major damage. Our first responders are overwhelmed. Transportation routes are blocked by debris. Buildings are collapsed. Hospitals are overwhelmed. The toll on our residents and visitors has been overwhelming, with thousands injured or killed, and many more homeless due to damage to their homes.
"We just concluded a call, during which we discussed the impacts to our states and province. We also explored how to share available resources to help one another dig out from this horrific disaster and begin the recovery process.
"We know we cannot do this alone. We’ve asked our federal governments for assistance. United States President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both assured us that help is on the way, but it won’t be immediate, nor will initial shipments be everything we need.
"Our region is resilient, where people go out of their way to help their families, friends and neighbors when the need is greatest. This is one of those times. We are confident that our residents will do their part to care for those who need help the most but have the least ability to do so.
"We pledge to work together, doing everything in our power to help this region recover from this terrible tragedy and thrive in its aftermath."
Participating governments and exercises
- Exercise Coastal Response is based on a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurring off the shore of Southwestern B.C. as a result of a rupture of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The earthquake scenario will generate a tsunami impacting the west coast of Vancouver Island minutes after the initial shock.
- The exercise brings together some key stakeholder groups such as different levels of government, various jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S., and a number of provincial ministries, First Nations, Crown corporations and first responders.
- The exercise is a mix of real-time activities and simulated situations involving functions such as emergency operations, logistics, medical care, mass care, public information and operational communications.
Exercise Pacific Quake
- Exercise Pacific Quake is a Canadian federal government earthquake exercise. Federal exercise play will include the local federal co-ordination departments who have a presence in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, such as Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, and will extend to the Government Operations Centre in Ottawa.
Exercise Staunch Maple
- The Joint Task Force Pacific (JTFP), the lead Canadian military formation in B.C., have a range of activities planned, some of which are linked to Exercise Coastal Response activities located along the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Exercise Cascadia Rising (fema.gov)
- Led by Northwest United States FEMA Region 10, this exercise includes most municipalities and counties in the Western half of Washington and Oregon, as well as parts of Idaho.