NEAR PHOENIX, AZ (CBSLA) — Californians aren’t the only ones getting ready for the big one.

Arizona is preparing for an influx of evacuees after the next major earthquake. We all know it’s coming but how ready are we and where would we go as disaster strikes?

As CBSLA’s Elsa Ramon reports, Arizona is holding practice runs just outside of Phoenix, preparing for 400,000 evacuees from California.

Deputy Director for FEMA Wendy Smith-Reeve says the training will last three-and-a-half days on the softball field at the National Guard base near Phoenix.

Smith-Reeve says the goal is to make sure all agencies can work together and to spot any potential problem areas.

“Where our systems are stressed, when it comes to sheltering, when it comes to feeding, when it comes to fuel because part of the scenario is the fuel line is compromised in Cailfornia which directly effects Arizona,” said Smith-Reeve.

Seismologist and author of “The Big Ones” Dr. Lucy Jones agrees infrastructure will be severely damaged when the big one hits Southern California and many won’t be ready.

“Historically we’ve seen damage to water systems being one of the most disruptive things that happens,” said Jones. “The estimate in shakeout was $50 billion in business disruption costs from lack of water because it is going to take up to six months to get it back.”

The Red Cross says it’s not just about providing evacuees a place to sleep but also getting them food, shelter and medical service. The Red Cross is one of more than a thousand agencies and organizations taking part in the drill.

“Part of this exercise is making sure our roads are ready. If there is a mass exodus from California, people would be using I-8 and I-10 to get here. So officials just want to make sure freeways are prepared,” said Katie Conner.

The drills will wrap up Thursday.

Comments (21)
  1. rho1953 says:

    Build a fence. Quickly. We gotta keep those fruitcakes from moving this way.

    1. Why on earth would they go there? To die because Mexico will NEVER help Americans

  2. Sam Dennis says:

    The entire population of California will fit in the Grand Canyon … and there’s water there!
    Just fence it in and stock it with 20,000,000 sleeping bags.

  3. Accepting volunteers to man the barricades on I-8 & I-10…..

    1. Yes stop them at the Colorado River.

  4. Jim M. Ryles says:

    Why Arizona? Why not some other liberal progressive sewer like Washington or Oregon? They can pass out love beads, pink hats and clean needles, no camp fires just circles of idiots holding hands and dreaming of utopia.

  5. Jim other than the negative sentiment that is a good idea and probably going to happen as a natural course of action after the big one. In the past the numbers leaving the SF disaster were 10’s of millions less, but look into where they went after the last major EQ in the area and that will give you a hint. I feel for vulnerable, elderly, children, pets who will be most critical. Dont allow the cruelty and ignorance of the new liberals to close your heart from reality.

  6. We already get too many of the LA Fruitcakes every weekend down here in San Diego. Why not put them on boat and send them out to sea?

  7. Aren’t these the same people who want to succeed from the US,why help them?

  8. Apparently Arizona is far ahead of California in preparations for the next big one. Angelinos can’t get to work and back, even with staggered work hours, on our freeways. There are no off-hours on the roads anymore. How is everyone going to get to Arizona? They’re not. Hey, California: how about working on plans to move affected folks and animals to safer ground in CA, where we can shelter in place? And how about perfecting that EWS so we have a few seconds to put our own disaster plans into operation? Hey, Arizona and FEMA: Thank you for your foresight and concern.

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