Firefighting, Natural Disasters, Technical Rescue

The Shakeout San Andreas Earthquake Scenario: Lessons Learned

Issue 4 and Volume 162.

BY LARRY COLLINS On November 13, 2008, at 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, the Operation Golden Guardian 2008/Great Southern California ShakeOut simulated exercise kicked off.1 This multivenue response to a simulated catastrophic earthquake involved local, state, and federal government agencies, including first responder agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. The hypothetical scenario was a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that devastated large sections of eight counties stretching from the Mexico border to central California. The simulation represented the worst disaster in U.S. history, directly affecting 20 million people who live and work in the simulated quake-impact area.2 More than 5.2 million residents and 5,000 emergency responders participated in the simulation, making it the largest earthquake exercise in U.S. history. The ShakeOut San Andreas Earthquake Scenario: Preparing for a Catastrophe (1) Disruption of traffic routes, many simultaneous structure fires, ruptured water mains, and other factors will contribute to conflagrations in a major earthquake.…

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