Crowdsourcing HayWired Earthquake Scenario Exercise Ideas

Crowdsourcing HayWired Earthquake Scenario Exercise Ideas

The Haywired Coalition is developing an exercise toolkit for the HayWired Earthquake Scenario. Earthquakes are complex events with the potential to impact all facets of a community. One component of the toolkit is an idea list of different ways people can exercise an earthquake scenario. Those without much exercise experience can start out by simply focusing on one element, while organizations that are more advanced in their planning and exercises can layer several elements to develop more complex scenarios.

To create a diverse list of ideas we want to tap into the wealth of expertise in the broader response community. We have developed a page to crowd source ideas for different aspects of the HayWired Earthquake Scenario that could be exercised.

The HayWired Scenario involves a 7.0M earthquake on the Hayward Fault with an epicenter in Oakland. You can learn more about the HayWired Scenario at

Share your ideas via the comments section at the bottom of the page for elements of the HayWired Earthquake Scenario that can be exercised.

Ideas may fit into more than one category. Also feel free to expand on ideas already existing. A few initial prompting ideas have been included and ideas from the comments will added to the list about once a week. As you have new ideas, come back and add them. 

Note: Names on the comments are public, so please only use the extent of you name you wish to make public or list your name as anonymous. 

Exercise Timing

Timing of the exercise scenario

  • Immediate response
  • A few days post initial earthquake
  • Weeks post initial earthquake
  • Months post initial earthquake
  • Post aftershock

Energy Infrastructure

Electricity, Natural Gas, Fuel

  • Downed live wires
  • Gas pipeline rupture

Communications Infrastructure

Cellular, Wifi, Data, Landlines

  • Broken fiber optic cable
  • Cellular network down

Water/Wastewater Infrastructure

Water Treatment & Pipelines, Wastewater system

  • Contaminated water
  • Water outage

Transportation Infrastructure

Roads, Bridges, Ports, Rail, Airports

  • Debris on roads
  • Port closure

Supply Chain Disruptions

Vendors & Logistics

  • Critical vendor(s) impacted
  • Travel restrictions

Healthcare Infrastructure

Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Pharmacies

  • Hospital damaged
  • Patient transportation

Public Health

Sanitation & Diseases

  • Boil water notices
  • Infectious diseases
  • Managing sanitation and waste disposal

Community Infrastructure

Schools, Day Care, Grocery Stores, …

  • Schools closed
  • Day care centers closed

Mass Care & Sheltering

  • Activation of shelters
  • Food & Water Logistics

Movement of People

Evacuation & Re-Entry

  • Bringing critical staff back in
  • Employees getting home

Security & Safety

Facilities Security, Search & Rescue, …

  • Securing facilities post earthquake
  • Searching for survivors

Hazardous Materials

Debris, Pollutants, Contaminants

  • Hazardous material spill
  • Toxic air contaminants

Hazards Post Earthquakes

Geological and Fire

  • Fires post-earthquake
  • Liquefaction

Facilities Impact

Impacts to your buildings

  • Building red-tagged
  • People trapped in elevators

Economic Impacts & Recovery

Financial Impacts

  • Business interruptions
  • Insurance filings

Continuity of Operations

Business Operations

  • Disruption to business processes
  • Employee impacts

Personal and Family Preparedness

Being prepared at home and on the road

  • Disaster kit content
  • Out of state contacts

Cross-Sector Partnerships

Coordination with cross-sector partners

  • Business interruptions
  • Insurance filings


Anything that does not fit well into one of the other categories



  1. Mark Benthien  June 24, 2019

    Public Safety Power Shutoffs are becoming a major issue for California, as when power is turned off to prevent possible wildfires, vulnerable populations (particularly those dependent on power for life-sustaining equipment) are at significant risk. These may be accompanied with advanced notice and for a limited time, whereas with earthquakes the power shutoff will be instant and likely last much longer. What does the HayWired scenario say about electrical systems/networks disrupted in this particular earthquake, for people to use in a realistic earthquake exercise? Is there anything already about vulnerable populations affected? Of course there are many other power-outage issues that can be suggested as exercise topics.

  2. Anne Wein  June 24, 2019

    Expand population movement to include population displacement for reasons of slow restoration of utilities, concentrated building damages, lack of community services (e.g., schools), and job losses.

    • David Cruise  July 11, 2019

      I agree with Anne, incorporating a long-term loss of utilities (especially water & sewage) and escalating these in the priority scheme for the exercise is a good idea. If predictions are even close, we are looking at a water/sewer disruption in the Silicon Valley area that could last months. Even if our newer buildings are still standing, this will disable most tech campus areas and present a major challenge to restoring the business/commercial activities that drive the regional and state economy.

      Palo Alto Networks

  3. Mike  June 27, 2019

    Transportation –
    The Port of Oakland and the intra-modal connectors. The interdependency of rail, sea, and surface transportation and the short term & long term recovery options following the Haywired Scenario. Impacts to the private sector supply chain and long term economic impacts to be addressed at a policy level.

    Operationalizing the waterborne people movement concepts, particularly using WETA to transport first responders from an unimpacted location to the impacted location. Items to be discussed include screening, locations to stage responders at while waiting for the ferries, throughput of completely full vessels each way including refueling. Security operations, survivor support at ferry terminals (as outlined in the Bay Area Plan). What are the anticipated impacts to SFO, OAK, and SJC airports and the impacts to the region as the business needs to continue elsewhere (Sac International?).

    There are SO many topics to discuss.

  4. Matthew Wall  July 9, 2019

    Exercise component possibilities:

    Earthquake Clearinghouse activation – use of gathered data to support emergency management response, recovery, and mitigation. Bring people to the table.

    Energy infrastructure – what are the restoration priorities and how are they going to be communicated to the public? What is the “plan” for overall restoration?

    Healthcare infrastructure – pharma supply lines and distribution will be impacted. This will be especially critical due to the loss of or access to patient records and disabled/critical patients. How do you bring stuff in, store, regulate, and distribute? Note – don’t forget about dialysis centers.

    Debris management – where will the debris be removed to? What is the debris sorting process? What protective measures are in place for both people and environmental contamination? How are you documenting the debris (Cat A for a PA declaration) management?

    Economic impacts – non-impact area businesses affected by the event will find other resources, how can re-establishment of the working relationships be supported? Consider a small business analysis of the impacted area and how many will never re-open. What does that do to the localities’ base economy and overall employment? What about food deserts and how will that issue be resolved with the increased lack of access to food?

    Redevelopment – N.O. had issues with developing and identifying what it wanted to look like and be after Hurricane Katrina. Why not start that process now and at least have some principles/concepts in place?

    Cultural resources – What happens to the libraries, museums, cultural centers and any surviving artifacts/materials?

    Mass Care and Sheltering – Pet Shelters (see: PAWS Act)

    From a national security perspective – re-staging of military resources, coordination with state/localities re: “outside the wire” critical infrastructure which supports the bases

  5. Sunset Survival  July 9, 2019

    Public Health:
    1. After disaster or long-term power outage, need to store food supplies in a separate area from sanitation & waste disposal area.
    2. Disaster kit should include plenty of hand wipes, sanitizer, etc.
    3. Besides storing plenty of safe drinking water, kit should include water purifier tablets.

    Communications, Education:
    1. With recent earthquakes, people have asked whether it is still recommended to have an out of state contact now that people can mark themselves safe on social media or check in with family by text msg. We remind them that social media and/or texting may not always be available if there is a system outage or long term power outage.
    2. We also have heard from several families with very young children (ages 2-4) after the recent quakes. Do we have educational materials available thru ECA or ShakeOut that explain an earthquake to children under the age of 4? If not, could this be developed?

  6. Transit Rep  July 11, 2019

    Public Transportation:
    Resources have been used in past events for evacuations, delivery of first responders, delivery of EOC staff, etc. Our fleet is reliant upon the delivery of natural gas which is then compressed onsite. Most if not all transit agencies are set up similarly. If there is a major disruption to that supply chain, the region has just lost its public transportation system.

  7. OES Chief Ken Dueker  July 12, 2019

    I concur that exploring the long-term power and other utility (and transportation, ESF-1) consequences of a major quake is the way to go. Fossil fuel supply chain, generators, and other such dependencies would be wise to ponder.

  8. Joe Donovan  July 15, 2019

    Suggest early morning say 5:30AM to allow for full effect to impact the commercial real estate aspect of having staff support the operations of bldgs in downtown Oakland and SFO with BART going down hard and loss of power. Most staff who support real estate live on the east side and will be unable to get downtown. Power outage should last for a # of days to allow and force discussion around Business Continuity from key suppliers