This Friday, 50 years and one day after the earthquake that devastated Kodiak, Anchorage and other Alaska communities, emergency services will got another chance at the response.
Alaska Shield is a drill in which communities statewide simulate a natural disaster, industrial accident or other mass casualty situation to test the plans, personal and equipment meant to deal with the situation.
This year the drill scenario will be a massive earthquake and tsunami.
The local exercise will involve standing up the Emergency Operations Center at the Kodiak Police Station where representatives from various organizations will coordinate response and relief.
According to a release from the city of Kodiak, The Kodiak drill will include activities that, in a real event, would be required to respond to injuries and property damage, evacuate persons in low-lying areas, provide shelter to displaced persons and provide medical care.”
Those involved include island fire departments, Kodiak police, Alaska State Troopers, medical care providers, the Red Cross, the Coast Guard, transportation providers, amateur radio operators and other community groups.
City manager Aimée Kniaziowski will serve as incident commander. She and other key personnel participate in regular quarterly desktop drills at the EOC, but Alaska Shield takes the practice farther.
Shelters will be set for “victims” at Kodiak Middle School to test responders’ organization and infrastructure. The normal evacuation site would be Kodiak High School, but officials moved it to KMS this year because of the construction, said Jack Maker, information coordinator for the Local Emergency Planning Committee.
“Students will be acting as shelter victims,” he said.
The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management coordinates Alaska Shield drills every three years. State experts will be on hand in Kodiak to evaluate the local response.