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Preparing for the Big One: ‘Cascadia Rising 2016’ getting under way

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SEATTLE -- Is the Pacific Northwest ready for a magnitude 9.0 mega earthquake and tsunami? That’s what emergency crews are going to find out this week.

"Cascadia Rising 2016" is getting under way. It’s a region-wide exercise to test the emergency response to a major disaster in the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

The Washington National Guard is just one of the government agencies taking part. On Monday, they practiced offloading a fleet of their supply delivery vehicles to Vashon Island.

“If our ferries weren’t operating or were operating at a very low level, we would run out of food very quickly. We’d need medicine, we’d be out of power,” says Rick Wallace, the president of Vashon Be Prepared. “So how in the world could we survive here without having something from the mainland? Because Vashon doesn’t have a bridge.”

More than 20,000 people in Washington and Oregon will be taking part in Cascadia Rising exercises throughout the week.