Friday, September 18, 2009

9/11 City Drill

Under the guidance of the Safe America Foundation, Lindon City was one of 10 U.S. cities that chose to participate in a National Drill Down for Safety on Patriot Day. The objective of the event was to account block by block for Lindon City residents.

The goal for this first attempt was to have 75% of all residents report. In the case of a catastrophic event, such as an earthquake, the accounting plan would be put into effect so city officials and search and rescue groups could be notified exactly who is missing.

At 6 p.m. policemen who had been strategically placed around the city blared their sirens. One or two individuals on each block were also chosen to honk their car horns. The noise signified the start of the pre-planned "disaster."

Each household reported to a block captain who then sent two runners with accounting information to a neighborhood EOC (Emergency Operations Center; ~30 EOCs were created for the event). The neighborhood EOC tallied all the block information and sent it to an AOC (Area Operations Center; 3 AOCs) and the AOC tallied those numbers and sent a runner to the Lindon City Chief of Police, Cody Cullimore, at a city hall command post.

In addition to runners, there was some use of handheld radios and licensed HAM operators. The county SCAT (Sheriff's Communication Auxiliary Team) set up a mobile command post at city hall to relay messages between AOCs.

I was asked to help plan the event and was pleased to work with a lot of fine individuals as we put all the details together at weekly meetings leading up to the drill. I'm officially on the documentation committee, so my main role is actually now, post-event, collecting data and lessons learned and writing an After Action Report.

It just so happens, I am also a city block captain, so here are some photos of my block as the families began reporting. We were "missing" close to 15 individuals, but only 2 were unaccounted for.

Citywide we had 68.9% participation. We didn't hit our goal but came fairly close for a first effort. The city plans to make this an annual event, adding more complex drill components as our organization and skills increase.


Tammy and Alvin said...

That's really cool! Great idea for all communities to try.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a successful drill! I would like to hear about the after action report, what were the conclusions?

Love, Mom