The Port of Hueneme operations team hosts a training event with 20 partner agencies as part of a Countywide effort to prepare for potential Tsunami weather events
August 17, 2023
[Port Hueneme, CA] — The Port of Hueneme’s operations team joined by security partners, NAVSEA, Amergent Tech, Oxnard Emergency Services, VCFD, ILWU Local 46, City of Port Hueneme, Ventura County OES, California OES, ocean shipping customers, and port operators, led a full day of training at the Port today to highlight the importance of successful and timely incident management during a possible tsunami wave to the US West Coast. This year’s exercise program, an integral part of “August Wave”, was born out of a grassroots effort amongst regional partners throughout the County following the Tonga volcano-spurred tsunami of January 2022. “August Wave” consists of several training events in August and finalizes on August 30. Yesterday the port ran its exercise as part of the series that was coined “August Wave” based on the shared tsunami exercise scenarios all taking place in August.
Over 20 agencies are participating in a series of exercises focused on tsunami preparedness and continuity between plans, agencies, and responses. The training is part of the Port’s annual exercise series and led by Operations Manager Mike Morrison who, together with partner agencies and training companies, organizes the topics, scenarios, evacuation plan, and operational response tactics.
Even though the Port of Hueneme has not had a recent tsunami impact on its harbor, the Port’s leadership is investing in detailed and planned training just in case such an event occurs. The training today discussed channels of communications, emergency partners, strategies for response, and immediate ways to increase the Port’s levels of security. As one of the busiest refrigerated container Ports in California, and 6th largest auto Port in the nation, the Port of Hueneme often collaborates with security partners and local agencies to ensure it remains safe, and the hub of resilience in case of emergencies.
“Communication is the most critical function in incident management. Holding drills and exercises familiarizes teams with events before real events and allows regional agencies to evaluate and improve upon action plans, communication strategies and find and fill gaps in the plan. We all have to play from the same playbook for actions to work well.” said the Port of Hueneme Operations Manager Mike Morrison.
A tsunami is a likely event that could have an impact on port operations and our coastal community. The Port of Hueneme is committed to safety, and security for its community and it holds exercises like this to ensure it’s prepared to respond and act ahead of a real situation. Focusing on the preservation of life, the environment, and infrastructure, this year’s tsunami exercise aimed to get port staff, operators, and regional response partners continuous in emergency plans and efforts.
About “August Wave” – The training program consists of several of Tsunami related exercises hosted by Ventura County emergency management agencies throughout August. Over 20 agencies utilized the same scenario, a tsunami generated from an Aleutian Island earthquake, and practiced protocols for mass care, shelter, emergency operation center activations, communication strategies, tsunami preparedness and community outreach. The Port’s event also included preparedness specific to facility security plan as required by the United States Coast Guard.
The Port of Hueneme is one of the most productive and efficient commercial trade gateways for niche cargo on the West Coast. Five locally elected Port Commissioners govern the Port. The Port consistently ranks among the top ten U.S. ports for automobiles and fresh produce. Port operations support the community by bringing $2.2 billion in economic activity and creating 20,032 trade-related jobs. Trade through the Port of Hueneme generates more than $173.2 million in direct and related state and local taxes, which fund vital community services. In 2017, the Port of Hueneme became the first port in California to become Green Marine certified and was voted the Greenest Port in the U.S. at the Green Shipping Summit. www.portofh.org.
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