For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Grace Maguire, Assistant to the City Manager, (510) 981-7008

Multi-Agency Disaster Response Exercise on April 18

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, April 12, 2006) - As the Bay Area prepares to commemorate the centennial of the 1906 earthquake on April 18, the City of Berkeley and six local agencies will rehearse and further prepare emergency responses by simulating the magnitude 7.9 quake and its aftermath. The “Shockwave Centennial Exercise” will involve activation of emergency operations centers (EOCs) at the Cities of Berkeley and Albany, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Bayer Healthcare, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley Unified School District, and the University of California, Berkeley to practice response and coordination techniques to effectively manage a regional disaster.

Coordinated response efforts have become more important in this modern age of natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes or the effects of human generated disasters. Testing, rehearsing, preparing, working together, and understanding the functions of other agencies are components of this exercise.

The news media is invited to report on and even participate in this important and distinctive exercise.

On Tuesday, April 18th:

The City of Berkeley EOC and Joint Information Center (JIC) will open its doors at 8:30 a.m. for a brief media tour prior to the commencement of the exercise at 9:00 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m., the media is invited to play along with the disaster scenario under which the emergency operation teams will be operating and “interview” the Director of the City’s EOC during a simulated press conference. This mock press conference will take place on the front steps of the Public Safety Building at 2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way,

At 11:30 a.m., the press will be given an opportunity for real interviews with the EOC Director regarding the City of Berkeley’s readiness and coordination with the participating agencies as a result of the exercise.

This is the third joint exercise in six years involving multiple agencies and each time the communication systems and coordination improves. We acknowledge that it is a continuous process to prepare and improve our systems to ready our agencies for a major disaster or incident.

For more information, contact Grace Maguire, Assistant to the City Manager at (510) 981-7008.