BEND, OR -- The local Civil Air Patrol is participating in the four-day, multi-state Cascadia Rising earthquake drill. Medical, public safety and emergency management agencies along with the High Desert Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol are taking part in local exercises at the Bend Airport.
Squadron Commander Mike Wissing says his 50-member team will be an asset to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in determining damage from the massive earthquake and tsunami predicted to hit Oregon in the next 50 years. “Probably one of our primary functions is going to be to go and look for disaster areas. We’re going to go in and do photography. That’s something that’s high on our agenda. We’ll actually check the passes and make sure that there’s no rack falls and that kind of stuff. We have some very good camera equipment on the airplane.”
Wissing says they will also serve other functions, in a real disaster. “We’re probably going to be a communications link which
is another very big deal. We can set up at 10-thousand feet and we can hit Klamath Falls and we can hit Portland. And they just communicate through the airplane. We don’t actually talk.”
Police, fire, hospitals and governments across Oregon, Washington and Idaho are working through various scenarios during this week's Cascadia Rising exercise. The goal is to find out what goes wrong, what they didn't plan for and how to improve responses when "the big one" actually hits the region.
OR National Guard Briefs Gov. Kate Brown on the drill's first day