EMERGENCY AGENCIES GEARING UP FOR TSUNAMI WARNING PRACTICE

October 23, 2001 11:00 pm

GOLD BEACH The countywide tsunami warning exercise is set to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday (Oct. 30), according to Curry County Emergency Services Coordinator Mike Murphy.

The scenario will begin with the receipt of a tsunami watch through normal channels at 9 a.m., with wave arrival time predicted to be 1 p.m.

At 10 a.m., the watch will be upgraded to a tsunami warning, with wave arrival still estimated to be at 1 p.m.

The disaster plan calls for fire agencies to evacuate low lying areas within their jurisdictions. Some law enforcement agencies and port districts will assist.

Murphy said some school districts will also participate in the exercise and test their emergency action plans.

The American Red Cross is planning to open two shelters, if possible. Ham radio clubs will test their ability to provide emergency communications. The U.S. Coast Guard will also test its plans.

It is important that there be no Code 3 responses, no sirens, said Murphy.

We need to see if our plans are adequate, and if not, why not, he said. We will make changes to the plans as necessary to correct any identified deficiencies.

Murphy will try to schedule some meetings about a week after the exercise to discuss how well things worked. We need to identify both strengths and weaknesses in our plans, he said.

Among the participants, said Murphy, will be the Port of Brookings Harbor, the City of Port Orford, the Gold Beach and Brookings police departments, and the Curry County Sheriffs Office.

Also slated to participate are the Gold Beach and Brookings-Harbor school districts, and the Langlois, Port Orford, Winchuck, Agness, Brookings, Cape Ferrelo, Pistol River and Gold Beach fire departments and districts.

Murphy said it is not too late for other agencies to participate. He invites them to call the Emergency Services Office at (541) 247-3208.

When the real thing happens, said Murphy, participation will not be optional.