MONTESANO, Wash. - On Saturday Dec 12, 2009 Grays Harbor County Emergency Management with the assistance from the Grays Harbor Amateur Radio Club, Washington State Emergency Management Division, Lewis County, Mason County, Pacific County, Bay Center, Wa Fire Station, the American Red Cross, Centralia EOC and the District 3 Net Control held a disaster communications drill.
The drill was a severe earthquake that impacted the entire County. Westport Fire Chief Dennis Benn and the Deputy Director of Emergency Management for Grays Harbor County worked in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Members of Grays Harbor Amateur Radio Club manned the Ham Radio during the event and had to operate with only one person. In a true disaster event, on a weekend, having 3 people to run the entire event is acutely possible. Participation from the other Ham Radio operators gave the EOC a communicated status of the County with a collapse of the WalMart Store, a Collapse of a Fire Hall in Pacific Beach, bridge failures, landslides and a tsunami wave in the Westport/Grayland area.
The drill was very insightful and actually brought about interest in conducting another drill based on this same scenario but begin it at hour 12 into the event.