Media representatives are invited to NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett
Field, CA, on Wed. Nov. 15 to observe earthquake response exercises from 10
a.m. until 5:00 p.m. PST at the collapsed structure training facility,
Bldg. N-267 – the primary training site for the center’s Disaster
Assistance & Rescue Team. To get to Ames, take the Moffett Field exit from
Highway 101. Press credentials and photo ID are required. Foreign media
representatives should provide advance notification. Allow time to obtain
badges and maps at the Ames badging office by the main gate.


NASA disaster response and recovery personnel are set to host over 300 of
their colleagues from federal, state and local emergency response agencies
in an upcoming earthquake preparedness exercise.

The event, called MOBEX 2000, will be held Nov.14-16 at NASA’s Ames
Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. It will involve training
and search and rescue exercises simulating emergency response to a major
earthquake on the San Andreas Fault. The 3-day event is designed to
strengthen coordination procedures among the Federal Emergency Management
Agency’s (FEMA’s) Urban Search and Rescue Teams, NASA’s Disaster Assistance
& Rescue Team (DART) and California’s Urban Search and Rescue Team (Task

There are three components to the exercise, including: specialized training
in disaster management support; participation in functional drills as part
of the FEMA incident support team; and the 3-day functional activity

“The primary purpose of the exercise is to test FEMA’s rapid mobilization
capabilities and NASA’s ability to support them,” said Mike DiSanto,
DART rescue squad leader. “This exercise will help us assess our ability
to bring together personnel from several federal, state and local agencies

to mobilize an organized response to a large-scale disaster,” he added.

Three major collapsed structure exercises will be conducted on Nov. 15.
“These exercises will allow the participating teams to practice critical
rescue skills in a controlled environment that realistically simulates the
types of conditions found in a real collapsed structure,” said Robert
Dolci, director of emergency services at NASA Ames. “California’s Urban
Search and Rescue Team Task Force-3, based in Menlo Park, CA, which
includes members of NASA’s DART will be transported to Fort Ord for the
final element of the mobilization exercise on Nov. 17-18,” he added.

Once the simulated “big one” strikes at 5:30 a.m. on the morning of Nov.
13, FEMA will activate 3 of its twenty-seven 62-member urban search and
rescue teams from Los Angeles, Nevada and New Mexico and dispatch them to
NASA Ames. The teams are expected to arrive at Moffett Federal airfield on
Nov.14 aboard U.S. Air Force cargo planes. In advance of the USAR arrival,
60 members from incident support teams will assess “damage” and set up a
command center. Incident support team members are responsible for task
force operations, planning and logistics. FEMA and DART team members will
serve as contact personnel and support.

In preparation for the activation and mobilization exercise, personnel from
NASA Ames, FEMA, the California State Office of Emergency Services, and the
Santa Clara and San Mateo County Offices of Emergency Services will
participate in a “tabletop” exercise on Nov. 13. The tabletop exercise is
designed to develop collaborative working relationships in preparation for
an actual earthquake or other disaster.

For more information on the MOBEX 2000 exercise, visit the FEMA web page

Ames’ DART was formed in 1986 with a mission to respond to community or
national emergency situations or disasters. DART was deployed with Task
Force-3 to Hurricane Iniki, the Northridge earthquake and the Oklahoma City
bombing. DART also responded to the Loma Prieta earthquake and the San
Francisco area floods of 1998. DART is one of the most qualified and best
equipped emergency response teams in the U.S.

K-9 unit and disaster rescue equipment introduction and demonstrations
begin at 10:00 am, Nov. 15, 2000.