On 7 June, 2016, over 20,000 tribal, state, and federal emergency managers kicked off the Cascadia rising exercise, a 4-day exercise designed to test response and recovery capabilities in the wake of a 9.0 magnitude Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami. During the four-day exercise, the National Guard prepared for 1,274,327 people needing mass feeding and water, 507,701 damaged homes and residential buildings, and 410,127 people needing emergency shelter. It even accounted for 254,357 pets requiring shelter. Should a 9.0 earthquake occur there are estimates that the whole area west of I-5 (i.e. Kitsap County in which Bremerton Lodge #1181 is located) could spend three to six months without electricity, one to three years without drinking water and sewage systems, and three or more years without hospitals.
In addition to the Cascadia Fault line, which is past its known cycle for an earthquake, there is another fault, the Seattle Fault, which runs directly through the city of Seattle on an east-west line from the Olympic Peninsula across the Puget Sound and through Alki Point, crossing central Seattle just south of I-90 into the Kitsap Peninsula. There is a 5 percent chance of a 6.7 magnitude earthquake on the Seattle Fault in the next 50 years and about a 2 percent chance for an earthquake greater than a magnitude 7.0. If that happens, some estimates hold that damage will be even worse than a magnitude 9.0 Cascadia subduction zone earthquake.
Disaster preparedness for our community has to become a priority. All that we have done in the community and all we want to do will be inconsequential in the shadow of one of these disasters. Unless, we become part of the solution before the problem. Our solution: is to work with youth organizations, like Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts to help build our community resiliency to disasters like earthquakes.
2019 - The Great Cascadia Zombie Challenge
This year’s annual Great Cascadia Zombie Challenge was held on October 5, 2019. During the first session 42 Girl Scouts and their leaders (22 adults) participated in a first ever Great Cascadia Zombie Academy. During this session they had deep-dive training into specific survival skills and they also participated in our Elk-led Great ShakeOut activity. After the training was over, more than 20 of the girls then went through the various rocker stations outside and also earned their Great Cascadia Zombie Challenge badge and rockers.
From 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. another 115 girls and their leaders (54 adults) went through the nine rocker challenge events. Several of these event stations were led by Elks and these girls also participated in the Elk-led Great ShakeOut activity.
The Bremerton Elks Lodge #1181 received a $2,500 Beacon Grant from the Elks National Foundation (ENF) which enabled us to buy the Great Cascadia Zombie Challenge Center badge and 9-rocker sets for 250 Girl Scouts completing the challenge or academy.
We look forward to partnering to host this event next year. We loved being part of the training to help prepare girls and their 'zombie' families for disaster!!!