A large earthquake in Alaska, especially in winter, would require a different type of response than most areas of the nation. FEMA Region X is participating in a series of exercises that will test the ability of the federal government to respond to major disasters in Alaska.
The largest of the exercises is Alaska Shield 2014. This full-scale emergency response exercise, occurring in late March of 2014 that will test the plans and actions of the State of Alaska, FEMA, territorial governments, private sector companies, international partners, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions and its partners.
"We do not know when the next earthquake or tsunami will take place, but it will depend on our collective and individual preparedness to reduce our vulnerability." said FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy. “It is imperative that we work together in advance of an event to make sure that all of our systems are working together smoothly and seamlessly”.
This exercise will coincide with 50th anniversary commemoration events of the 1964 Great Alaskan Earthquake. The earthquake scenario is designed to be of sufficient complexity to disrupt the States essential services, making it difficult for communities to obtain outside assistance but allow life safety activities to resume.
A Full-Scale Exercise tests plans and actions during the initial response phase of a disaster. It also tests the ability to stabilize the situation and meet immediate essential needs during a major disruptive event, as well as ensure recovery efforts can begin.