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NAVSTA Rota Prepares for Exercise Reliant Rumble

21 September 2023

From Naval Station Rota, Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain - Earthquakes can hit anytime, anywhere. It may be a common occurrence in some locations; irregular to non-existent in other locations. The recent earthquake and aftershocks in Morocco is a testament to the fact that even though it’s not “normal” in an area, it can still happen.

Months before this recent earthquake, personnel at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota have been planning for Exercise Reliant Rumble 2023 which will take place on Sept. 25, 2023. This annual training exercise simulates a significant earthquake that trigger subsequent issues within the installation.

“Reliant Rumble is an earthquake disaster preparedness exercise used to evaluate Emergency Management's, Fleet & Family Service’s, and Public Work's ability to maintain facility/base operations as well as the ability to support families during a natural disaster,” explained Lt. Jeff Gao, training officer for NAVSTA Rota. “It is important because this drill will validate contingency measures that are in place in the event such a natural disaster was to occur.”

NAVSTA Rota maintains a robust training schedule to incorporate many different type of training scenarios to ensure that personnel are prepared for a variety of threats – both natural and man-made. By testing and evaluating different processes and systems throughout the installation, leadership can effectively plan and prepare.

Exercise Reliant Rumble will test the installation’s ability to respond to natural disaster by setting up an evacuation site, maintaining operations during power outage, and structural safety checks. Throughout the exercise, installation personnel will review current procedures, find potential issues or challenges, and talk through solutions. This ensures that when a real disaster occurs, personnel know how to best respond to protect personnel and the installation.

Installation personnel work to protect the base and its personnel and assets. But on a micro-level, what can you do to protect you and your family? According to the website, here are a few tips to prepare for the disaster:

• Create an emergency kit. Your emergency kit should contain food for three days including one gallon of water per person per day. Other items to include are flashlight, fire extinguisher, medicine, personal hygiene items, and pet food.
• Protect your home. This tip is earthquake-centric but one of the easiest preventative measures you can take now is to prepare your home for a possible earthquake. Anchor heavy furniture and televisions to the walls, place breakables on lower shelves, and look into home structural issues now instead of later.
• Create a plan. Creating an emergency plan is important – especially with children – to help reduce fear and ease anxiety. Discuss how you can react to different natural disasters and what that looks like if they are in bed, playing outside, or at school. Create a communication plan on how you would reach each other – either via phone or a set meeting location – after a natural disaster.

While the recent earthquake in Morocco highlights that it’s impossible to plan for a natural disaster, NAVSTA Rota leadership and you can prepare for potential disasters.


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