San Francisco Bay Area jurisdictions, as well as Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County, will come together on September 8 for their latest annual Yellow Command emergency management exercise. The cloud-based California Common Operating Picture (Cal COP) for Threat Awareness, powered by Haystax Technology, will be deployed in support of the exercise.
Yellow Command is one element of the broader Urban Shield regional preparedness exercise, focusing on emergency management and the support that emergency operations centers (EOCs) provide for effective response and recovery efforts in the field. Each year Yellow Command tests one aspect of the Bay Area’s Regional Catastrophic Planning efforts and in this tenth year it will exercise and evaluate the Regional Catastrophic Earthquake Logistics Response Plan, simulating the response to a major earthquake 72 hours after impact, coupled with a cyber attack on local government.
The exercise provides a unique opportunity to activate multiple EOCs in an effort to determine how to best prioritize the distribution of resources—like food and water—to affected areas following a major disaster. Used alongside other tools, Cal COP provides a platform for local Bay Area jurisdictions and the various EOCs to share a common operating picture.
This is also one of the few occasions when the state is employing Community Points of Distribution (C-PODs)—locations where the public goes to pick up emergency supplies following a disaster—giving officials an opportunity to see how effective C-PODs are and how successfully the Regional Catastrophic Earthquake Logistics Response Plan for the Bay Area performs.
Cal COP is used in jurisdictions that make up more than 85 percent of the state’s population, and Bay-Area public safety agencies have used it since 2009. This year alone, Cal COP was deployed at many significant large-scale events, including Super Bowl 50, hockey’s Stanley Cup Finals, the NBA finals, Copa America, Bay to Breakers and the San Francisco Pride Parade and Festival.