Thursday, May 23, 2024

Lincoln County, state and local partners to hold the largest Cascadia exercise ever on the Oregon coast

Evacuation Assembly Point tents-photo courtesy Lincoln county

In the largest exercise of its kind ever on the Oregon coast, Lincoln County Emergency Management (LCEM) , in partnership with the Oregon Department of Human Services’ Office of Resilience and Emergency Management (OREM), City of Newport, Scappoose Fire District, Life Flight, Team Rubicon, and the United States Coast Guard, will host a two-day exercise to introduce and train first responders and volunteers in the deployment of the newest Evacuation Assembly Point (EAP), housed at the Newport Municipal Airport.

On May 14 and 15, emergency management personnel from around the state will exercise response to a simulated emergency, such as a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and ensuing tsunami. First responders will have an opportunity to set up, test, and demobilize tents and other EAP equipment.

Conex container. Photo via conex.com

Last month, OREM delivered two Conex containers – heavy duty metal storage and
shipping containers – storing the EAP equipment in the northeast corner of the Newport
Municipal Airport. Partnered agencies, hosted at Oregon Coast Community College,
have met several times since to plan for the exercise and familiarize themselves with
the equipment.

This EAP is intended for temporary use to triage and provide shelter to individuals who
will need to be evacuated off the coast to receive additional assistance or to return
home to other parts of the state.

Over the course of the two-day event, there will be demonstrations, preparedness activities, and overnight sheltering provided. “Lincoln County is grateful to ODHS for providing us with the Evacuation Assembly Point. In a large-scale emergency event, the ability to quickly remove individuals from the area is essential to life safety and the wellbeing of our community.

The EAP will allow us to provide shelter and other resources for those being medically evacuated by air. It will make a significant difference in the type of care we can provide” said Samantha Buckley, Lincoln County Emergency Manager.

Tillamook Airport (photo via Wikipedia

This is the second EAP OREM has delivered to the coast, the first being housed at the
Tillamook Airport. The agency plans to establish a third EAP on the south coast this
summer. OREM delivers the equipment to local responders and conducts initial training,
leaving the EAP in the hands of those who will be faced with the immediate aftermath of
a disaster.

“Coastal communities like Lincoln County are prioritized to house these Conex boxes
because data shows they are likely to be cut off from the rest of the state during the
Cascadia earthquake,” said Ed Flick, OREM director.

“ODHS has primary responsibility for mass care and shelter following disasters, so helping local communities access critical supplies that can quickly be used to serve their local community is important to us.”

(photo via Wikipedia) Representative photo of MH-65 helicopter

Demonstrations will include the use of drones operated by Scappoose Fire’s Aviation unit, a Life Flight rescue helicopter, and the Coast Guard Newport Air Station’s MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter.

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners will hold their bi-monthly business meeting
on-site during this event on the second day, starting at 10a.m. Wednesday, May 15.

Attendance at the  meeting is open to the public. Remote attendance is encouraged, as access to and from the EAP site will be limited to shuttles from the main airport parking lot.

The meeting will broadcast live https://lincolncoor.portal.civicclerk.com/event/1605/media.

County commissioners, county and city emergency management teams, the OREM
team and at least one state legislator plan to spend the night at the EAP May 14 as part
of the exercise.

For questions, please contact Lincoln County Public Information Officer Kenneth Lipp at
[email protected] or 541-265-4100.

Don Williams
Don Williamshttps://lincolncityhomepage.com
Don Williams serves as publisher and editor of The Lincoln City Homepage.

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