HLS 494 Practicum/Capstone Project

Date of Award

4-2018

Document Type

Open Practicum Paper

Degree Name

Homeland Security, BS

College

School of Management

Department

Homeland Security & Emergency Management

Keywords

earthquake preparedness, first responders

Abstract

The city of Olympia, Washington rests just inland of one of the biggest tectonic plate fault lines in all of North America, this is what is known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Scientists believe that it is only a matter of time until there is a massive mega-quake due to the tectonic plates friction as we can read, “the plates are stuck, and the stress will build up until the fault suddenly breaks. This last happened in 1700: the result was an earthquake on the order of magnitude 9.0, followed within minutes by a large tsunami—much like the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011” (CREW, 2013). Much like the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, the entire West Coast will be affected by such an event and the destruction will be unfathomable. This is just one of the many disasters/hazards that face the Pacific Northwest and the Olympia area. Because of these disasters/hazards, it is vital that everyone is as prepared as possible in order to preserve as much life as possible.

This paper addresses the functional aspect preparedness campaigns within the homeland security enterprise. The preparedness campaign will focus strictly on first responder preparedness. For this paper, most of the information applied was gathered through various meetings via phone calls and face-to-face interviews. The easiest and most efficient method to identify a fire department’s preparedness campaign is to simply call or meet with them and discuss what the plans are. In addition, it is also beneficial to obtain the lay of the land around the area by walking/driving around and observing where there might be vulnerabilities, what the buildings/terrain look like, along with researching the possible disasters/hazards that the city faces.

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