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Science the Foundation of "Shake ’n Quake" Exercise
Released: 10/20/2009 2:38:24 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Joan Gomberg 1-click interview
Phone: 206-941-7498

Craig Weaver
Phone: 206-459-6457

SEATTLE, Wash. -- When Pierce County holds its "Shake 'n Quake" earthquake exercise Wednesday and Thursday, the foundation participants will use is a scenario developed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists here.

The magnitude 7.1 earthquake striking along the Tacoma fault line provides a starting point for a drill expected to include more than 500 people and 50 agencies as the region prepares to test communication and coordination procedures between the State, cities, towns and first responder agencies.

USGS scientists and technical staff in its Seattle and Golden, Colorado offices, together with partners at the University of Washington’s Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN), are providing simulated electronic notifications of events, maps of expected ground shaking, estimates of affected populations, informational fact sheets, and an online tool that permits ordinary citizens and responders to report and visualize how damage is distributed.

The USGS and PNSN worked with Pierce County in the planning of the exercise and conducted workshops for participants to provide background and to introduce the tools available to facilitate response.   Those involved indicate exercises like this test capabilities and tools and provide feedback on how they can be improved, ultimately resulting in agencies being better prepared when a real earthquake occurs.

The exercise is part of a yearly requirement for Pierce County to hold at least one regional exercise to evaluate communications, demonstrate coordinated situational awareness collection, and disseminate information to the public.

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