On December 6, 2016, NOAA groups gathered for a one-day tabletop exercise to discuss the potential for impacts caused by the simulated scenario of an earthquake and subsequent tsunami on the West coast of the United States.
Earlier this summer, FEMA and other federal agencies as well as local, state, and non-governmental organizations participated in a large-scale exercise called Cascadia Rising. The simulated scenario included a 9.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the entire Cascadia Subduction Zone — a complete rupture of the 700-mile fault line. It also included a tsunami that followed the almost four minutes of shaking and multiple aftershocks. This fault line spans approximately 140,000 square miles and encompasses the states of Washington, Oregon, and California, as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia. On December 6, representatives from the National Ocean Service (NOS), National Weather Service (NWS), Workforce Management, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (OCAO), Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO), Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), and the Homeland Security Program Office (HSPO) convened to discuss the severity of this scenario and how it could potentially impact our Primary Mission Essential Functions, Mission Essential Functions, and other responsibilities.