The Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) is a sizeable geologic fault running from Northern Vancouver Island to Cape Mendocino, California. The CSZ has enormous disaster potential, having caused earthquakes over a magnitude of 9.0. Due to its location off of the West Coast, a CSZ earthquake event has the ability to cause a tsunami as well.

To plan for this threat, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 10 will host Cascadia Rising 2022: Rehearsal of Concept (ROC), a three-day discussion-based exercise to evaluate FEMA's coordinated response plan to a massive Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and resulting tsunami. Participants will include emergency management representatives from the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, tribal partners, FEMA, U.S. Department of Defense, American Red Cross, and Emergency Management British Columbia.

Over the three-day exercise, federal, state and tribal partners will walk through the FEMA Region 10 CSZ Earthquake and Tsunami Response Plan using a large 35’x26’ map to display impacted areas and demonstrate resource allocation, staging and movement in response to a CSZ event. These discussions will include questions around operational activities, logistics, resource management and communications for response operations.

"We know it’s only a matter of time before the big one strikes. This exercise helps us coordinate directly with our local and regional partners to build a culture of preparedness across the region. The physical devastation will be significant, and the humanitarian impacts will be felt far beyond the earthquake zone," stated FEMA Region 10 Administrator Willie G. Nunn. 

The lessons learned from this exercise will be incorporated into both an updated CSZ Response Plan and into FEMA’s response operational procedures.