After a pleasant briefing in Borst Park, Centralia ARES team members deployed for disaster drill training. Based on a large earthquake scenario that damaged or destroyed much of downtown Centralia including the EOC, the ARES team was tasked with five support missions: (1) set up a communications center using our ARES Comm Van in a forward staging area, (2) establish a temporary helicopter landing zone for medical evacuations, (3) assess significant damage to a community reservoir which required evacuation of 276 people, (4) establish a series of emergency shelters to house those evacuees and (5) set up a series of temporary Neighborhood Communications Hubs to inform citizens of post disaster information sent out by the Incident Commander. Just for good measure, three significant arterial streets were damaged and team members had to use their maps to get to their assignments and for evacuation routes.
Three prospective new team members shadowed the support missions visiting each of them and talking with the team members in charge. While we were expecting a few glitches, the drill came off better than any previous disaster drill. The real helicopter landing drill two months ago meant this LZ was established in record time and all information given to Comm II in a timely manner. The evacuation process went very well and those team members had thought through alternate shelter locations and routes. The actual shelter situation was in a perfect location just outside of the damage zone and the shortest possible distance from those needing evacuation. The Neighborhood Communications Hubs were set up near the damaged downtown EOC to facilitate information flow to community members seeking help from the EOC. The team in Comm II handled all traffic well and kept track of the entire situation without a hitch.
Very proud of these people. They handled the support missions like the pros they are. Good Job everyone!