SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — FEMA and the Red Cross have teamed up for a drill over the past three days preparing for mass evacuations of Californians to Arizona in the event of a massive California earthquake.
What is the plan if a massive earthquake shakes the Bay Area?
Red Cross volunteer Ron Tallman is among the 400,000 Californians fleeing to Arizona in a drill to make sure Arizona is ready for an influx of people from a massive earthquake in California, which scientists say is inevitable.
“Part of the scenario is fuel line in California which directly affects Arizona,” said Wendy Smith-Reeve, a spokesperson with the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs.
The training is taking place over three and a half days at a National Huard base near Phoenix.
The goal is to make sure all agencies can work together and to spot any potential problem areas.
“Where our systems are stressed, when it comes to sheltering, when it comes to feeding,” said Smith-Reeve.
That same mass exodus would take place in Northern California if a major earthquake struck the Bay Area. According to a Cal OES earthquake plan, an estimated 5 million people would evacuate. Many would be headed our way. The plan designates six counties outside the Bay Area as “host” areas, including Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Yolo. And residents could be away from home for months.
“Historically, we’ve seen damage to water systems being one of the most disruptive things that happens,” said seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones. “The estimate in Shakeout was $50 billion in business disruption costs from lack of water because it is going to take up to six months to get it back.”
Cal Expo is one of the designated refugee centers.