The West Coast General Aviation Response Plan (WCGARP) Was Partially Activated For The First Time
A while ago I received a text that indicated an earthquake and tsunami had occurred. Within a couple of minutes the national aspects of the ACA/EVAC and WCGARP were alerted to this threat. One of the aspects in the alert was determining if we needed to notify the seaplane community to evacuate the sound to the safe haven lakes or Base Lakes. Through a 2 to 3 minute texting communication string the WCGARP initial activation group was able to ascertain that the initial alert put out, was shortly after cancelled. We stood down quickly once threat level was determined and it did not need to go to higher involvement of the WCGARP e-mail group.
The positive is that the national texting alerting system worked and quickly alerted the national leadership of the WCGARP, but also simultaneously alerted the other alerting beacons in multiple west coast states and could have got things rolling very fast. That is going to save lives when the time comes.
This is a huge first in cutting the national/local response time down to minute’s verses/days hours. After reading this story the above value will be clear. Additionally the below link goes to how earthquake generated landslides can cause tsunamis that can be quite large. With all the islands in the San Juan’s and Puget Sound it seems this could also add to the devastation.
What is coming to the west coast will devastate in a way and scale that is truly frightening, but within what the West Coast General Aviation Response Plan (WCGARP) work group is doing, there lays this glimmer of hope because of how it has and is being developed. Many others and I believe this will be general aviation’s finest hour or in this case days.
Sky Terry is a Contributing Editor here at Seaplanemagazine.com. He writes on topics concerning the use of Seaplanes and Flying Boats in Emergency & Disaster Relief.