Welcome to Exercise Black Fault

Exercise Black Fault is a functional tabletop exercise, intended to assess working relationships and to analyze processes related to decision-making and worker-care used by community-based Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) personnel responding to a catastrophic earthquake. It will validate the Players’ ability to complete common tasks and to consider the psychosocial aspects of their decisions and actions on those impacted by the earthquake including themselves, their EOC colleagues, other responders, decision makers, and community members.

Exercise Black Fault is based on the occurrence of a magnitude 8.5 earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction zone. The exercise scenario begins 18 hours into the response with continuing aftershocks being recorded at between magnitude 4.0 and 6.0 and with tsunami alerts being issued for the entire outer coastline. While damage assessments are still being completed, initial reports indicate extensive damage to infrastructure and buildings throughout the region. Players are challenged to make numerous concurrent high-risk, high-consequence decisions within compressed timeframes as they balance planning with responding while contending with aftershocks, information gaps and errors, competing resource demands, and shifting response priorities.

This exercise brings together representatives from local government agencies to practice their response to the earthquake with an emphasis on how EOC personnel can consider and integrate the psychosocial aspects of an effective response into their strategic and tactical decision-making and canbetter addressany psychosocial stressorsand initiate worker self-care strategies. Ideally, Players will include representatives from Police, Fire & Rescue Services, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Social Services, Emergency Management, Public Works, and Administration. A Team Support Worker, trained in disaster psychosocial services, should be available to provide psychosocial interventions in each EOC.

In all cases, Players will draw on their real world experience as they complete the tasks assigned to their position using detailed information from their community and/or jurisdiction. While the exercise materials focus on the response to the earthquake occurring off southwestern British Columbia, many inputs will be customized to reflect participating communities.

Please Note Before You Start:

  1. This exercise is intended for participantswho work in a community-based EOC (typically response agency and local government staff). Each participant should have a clear understanding of their role and their agency’s role as they will draw on their real world experience to complete the exercise tasks. And, they should have a basic understanding of the EOC environment; ideally, they will have completed EOC related training if not, it is best to partner them up with those who have been trained.
  2. It is beneficial to have representation from a cross-section of community and government agencies participate in the exercise. If you are unable to find a player from each agency, you are still able to continue with the exercise; however, the EOC Director will need to ensure the functions of that agency are still able to be performed.
  3. There will be simulated casualties in this exercise, and some of the audio-visual and audio inputs may be disturbing and distressful to some exercise Players.
  4. You will need to designate a Controller to run and manage the exercise. They will need to take the time to review and download all of the relevant materials, to ensure input documents are completed with information to reflect local jurisdiction operational realities,and to follow the directions in the Controller Guide. The time required for the designated Controller to become sufficiently conversant with the material is expected to be a day. The Controller will not be able to actively participate in the exercise.
  5. When arranging a location for your exercise, make sure it is away from regular office distractions. The space should have room for the number of Players attending. It should have flip charts and paper or whiteboards, office supplies, and a computer with speakers for playing the Input Videos. At a minimum, you will require a room for the EOC and a room for the Controllers and Simulators.
  6. Two computersystems are required to simultaneously run audio and video files in each of the exercise rooms. You will need to ensure that you can accommodate the technical requirements to run the exercise. View the computer technical requirements to run the exercise.
  7. While this exercise was designed to accommodate an international audience it was developed in Canada and the language used for the exercise is in English.While no restricted information is required to participate in the exercise, consideration may need to be given to the confidentiality of what materials and strategies exercise participants bring to the exercise.
  8. It is important to remember that even though this is an exercise, for many players who are immersed in the exercise it may seem very real; there is always the possibility that players may experience some significant reactions during or after the exercise. Thus, it will be important to have someone available after the exercise to provide not only an operational debriefing for exercise players but also to provide an opportunity for players to receive a psychosocial debriefing to express any emotional or physical responses they may have experienced and to receive any necessary support for those responses.

Run Exercise

Tell us about your organization



    I have already submitted my information.

    Go directly to the Exercise Page