Ham radio operators will put emergency communications to the test Saturday in simulated quake, tsunami

On Saturday, a simulated earthquake and tsunami will test area ham radio operators
On Saturday, a simulated earthquake and tsunami will test area ham radio operators' emergency communications.
— image credit: Pacific Northwest Seismic Network

On Saturday, a simulated earthquake and tsunami will rock Northwest Washington state and Southwest British Columbia.

The simulated natural events will test ham radio operators in their annual Simulated Emergency Test. This is an annual emergency communications exercise sponsored by the American Radio Relay League.

This year's Simulated Emergency Test for hams in Northwest Washington will be a communications exercise to test the ability of amateur radio operations in support of emergency communications on both sides of the border during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C.

The exercise will be based in part on this scenario:

On Feb. 12, 2010 at 7:55 p.m., the affected area received a 7.2 earthquake that was located 1.5 miles underground. The center of the quake was located between Waldron, Stuart and San Juan islands. The quake has generated a tsunami which has caused damage to most shorelines throughout the San Juans, Vancouver Island, and the mainland (including the Olympic Peninsula). The quake caused damage inland as far as 75 miles in some areas. Most power is out and many of the towers at repeater sites have toppled over.

Whatcom County will have at least three portable communications platforms active during the exercise. The City of Ferndale's newly acquired and fitted communications van will be on site at the Olympics Coordination Center at the Bellingham Airport as well as one of the Department of Emergency Management's communications vans. The City of Blaine's emergency communications van will be deployed to a location in the city to assume command and control of city assets when the police department's headquarters is rendered unusable following flooding caused by the tsunami.


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