Three-day training exercise planned May
25-27 in Alta, Wyoming
The Earths bowels
have been rumbling for the past month near Mount St. Helens;
ground deformation of the lower flanks and crater floor
have been detected; carbon dioxide and intermittent small
steam explosions have been recorded. U.S. Geological Survey
and University of Washington seismologists are concerned
that a major event is imminent.
This artificial backdrop will serve as a foundation for Cascade
Fury II, a disaster drill that will be staged May 25-27 in
Alta, Wyo., east of Driggs, Idaho. The Idaho Transportation
Department will join other state and federal agencies in responding
to a threat of a major natural disaster.
Representatives are expected from Idaho, Washington, Oregon,
Wyoming, Montana and Utah. Agencies tentatively involved range
from the USDOT and Federal Emergency Management Agency to
the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Forest Service, Federal Highway
Administration, State offices of Homeland Security, Transportation,
law enforcement and local governments.
Their task will be responding to a magnitude 7 earthquake
that strikes southwest Wyoming, northeast Idaho and the common
Utah border. Ash-fall and landslides seem endless,
according to the fictitious scenario.
training exercise will begin with presentations by the Department
of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Transportation
on the morning of Tuesday, May 25 at the Grand Targhee Resort.
Afternoon presentations will be given by state emergency organizations.
The disaster drill will begin the following morning and continue
through late afternoon. An exercise outbrief and
review will conclude the exercise on May 27.
Organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the three-day
activity is designed to prepare transportation organizations
with the tools and experience to respond to natural disasters.
Our mission is to provide for the coordination of federal
transportation support to state and local governments, voluntary
organizations and federal agencies requiring transportation
capacity to perform disaster assistance missions, according
to the USDOTs region 10 web site on Regional Emergency
We also serve as a coordination point between response
operations and restoration of the transportation infrastructure.
Transportation is a vulnerable lifeline in our communities.
As Emergency Support Function 1 under the federal response
plan, our team provides coordinated crisis management support
to quickly restore our transportation infrastructure following
a major disaster or emergency. Our mission has never been
more vital than it is today.
ITD will send a number of delegates to the training exercise.
The effort, organized by Bryan Smith, Emergency/Disaster Management
Coordinator for ITD, said the departments contingent
could include district engineers and emergency coordinators
as well as representatives from emergency management, public
affairs, ports of entry, State Communications and Aeronautics.