Earthquake Exercise

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 23, 2012

Sponsored by: County Administrative Office

Washington County Agencies Practice for Earthquake

On Tuesday, April 24, agencies in Washington County will participate in an emergency exercise in response to an earthquake scenario. The drill will test the agencies' organizational and interagency damage assessment plans and procedures and familiarize emergency response personnel with their damage assessment roles and responsibilities.

New Zealand 2010Emergency management staff plan to use a moderate, local-fault earthquake scenario for Tuesday's full-scale exercise. Staff from numerous emergency response agencies and organizations in Washington County will practice the collection, reporting, analysis and sharing of damage assessment information.

The exercise is being coordinated by the Office of Consolidated Emergency Management for Washington County and the participants include Washington County, the cities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, and Tigard, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, the Joint Water Commission, Washington County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES), Tuality Healthcare, Metro West Ambulance and the Intel Corporation.

Although much of the exercise play will involve staff working in emergency centers, several agencies will have personnel working in the field simulating the rapid visual assessment of damaged buildings, bridges and roads.

Drill in County Buildings
In addition the April 24 exercise activities, at some point during the work week of April 23 through 27, Washington County government offices will conduct a five-minute earthquake drill. County employees and members of the public in county government facilities at the time of the drill will be asked to "drop, cover and hold on" until an "all clear" announcement is given.

A damaging earthquake can occur at any time of day and on any day throughout the year. When an earthquake is felt, the public is advised to:

  • DROP to the floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture like a desk or table. Stay away from windows, bookcases, pictures and mirrors, hanging plants and other heavy objects that may fall. Be aware of falling materials such as plaster, ceiling tiles and bricks that may come loose during the quake.
  • Stay under COVER until the shaking stops.
  • HOLD ON to the desk or table providing protection and if it moves, move with it.

To learn more about preparing for earthquakes and other natural disasters, visit these web sites:

Media Contact:

Philip Bransford, Communications Officer, County Administrative Office
(503) 846-8685