Mountlake Terrace City staff join other agencies in disasater training exercise

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City of MLT and Fire District 1 staff during the emergency drill. (Photo courtesy City of Mountlake Terrace)
City of MLT and Fire District 1 staff during the emergency drill. (Photo courtesy City of Mountlake Terrace)

A disaster training exercise was held by the Emergency Services Coordinating Agency (ESCA) and the City of Mountlake at ESCA’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Brier last week.

The ESCA is a local government emergency management organization created by the cities of Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Edmonds, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Woodinville and the Town of Woodway to provide disaster planning, hazard mitigation, response management, and disaster recovery services.

ESCA Emergency Management Coordinator Dan Good began the training session with a review of EOC procedures. The practice scenario involved a moderate earthquake at 8:00 a.m. that knocked out telephone and 911 operations, which may be the case in a real emergency. City employees and volunteers practiced sending teams out to survey the damage and utilized the volunteer Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) to relay information via amateur radio.

Response efforts also included dispatching fire, police and public works crews to handle a variety of situations such as fires, gas and water leaks, collapsed buildings, blocked roadways, and medical emergencies. Community relations and planning staff responded to get information out to the public and set up shelter and food stations.

“The mock exercise helps ensure we are up to date with emergency procedures and it’s a good opportunity to practice coordination among many departments and other entities so we are ready if a real emergency occurs in our community,” said Community Relations Director/City Clerk Virginia Olsen.

“It’s very important for citizens to be ready to live without power and water for several days,” Olsen added. Officials encourage residents to prepare now for an earthquake or other disaster that could potentially strike their local neighborhoods. You can learn more about emergency preparedness here.

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