Inside This Issue
CAPSTONE-14 Next Week
vBEOC Tested During CAPSTONE
GIS & Information Sharing
CAPSTONE Building Inspection Progress
Transportation Task Force Expanding Scope
Calendar & Upcoming Events
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Did You Feel It?

View a list of recent earthquakes here...
Geocache Update

A great way to spend time outdoors with your family and friends is by going Geocaching

Since 2007, nearly 2,500 people have visited CUSEC geocaches, which provide earthquake safety and mitigation information to site visitors.  As some visitors recently noted: 

"Really liked the earthquake theme.

"Glad to finally make it to New Madrid after seeing a documentary on earthquakes that happened here."

"A fun cache at a great museum...plenty of information and made better by knowledgeable staff member.

To find a CUSEC geocache near you, see our cache listing page at the geocaching website.


Next week, the CUSEC Member, Associate, and supporting States will participate in CAPSTONE-14, a regional, multi-state exercise designed to test response and recovery capabilities following a major New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) earthquake.


In direct support of Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD8), CAPSTONE-14 is the culmination of three years of planning and preparedness activities led by the CUSEC Board of Directors. It follows and builds upon lessons learned during the NSMZ Catastrophic Planning Project and National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE11), completing the full emergency management planning, training, and exercise cycle.  


CAPSTONE-14  also serves as a regional and national model to the emergency management community by incorporating new technologies such as the Mutual Aid Support System (MASS), the Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (vBEOC), a regional Common Operating Picture (COP), and more.  


According to CUSEC Executive Director Jim Wilkinson, "CAPSTONE-14 demonstrates the continued dedication of our States to address the shared earthquake risk faced in the central U.S. It's not just a west coast hazard as many might believe-damaging earthquakes have and will occur again in the central U.S. and we need to be ready."


During the CAPSTONE exercise next week, specific areas of focus will include:

  • Regional Communications
  • Regional Situational Awareness
  • Regional Transportation
  • Private Sector Integration
  • Regional Resource Management
  • Military Support of Civilian Authorities

These areas, defined in 2011 by the CUSEC Board, have driven the majority of the planning for the exercise, and each has seen multiple successes.    


Continue reading below for a closer look at CAPSTONE-14 and examples of how our States are enhancing local, state, and national capabilities.  You can also visit the CAPSTONE-14 "portal" on the CUSEC website, where we have several pages of exercise-related information, notes, and archives.


During CAPSTONE-14, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has led several private sector workshops and planning efforts to improve public/private disaster response communications and coordination. Because of this, IEMA has worked with Argonne National Laboratory to create an internet-based Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (vBEOC) App for the private sector.  


The vBEOC allows for public and private sector partners to share real-time, critical information before, during, or after disasters.  It aggregates multiple data sources into dynamically configurable, situational awareness dashboards that include information about matters such as road closures, utility service status, ongoing response actions, weather, and more.   vBEOC will be tested extensively during next week's CAPSTONE-14 exercise.  

vBEOC also includes all capabilities of the nationally deployed Virtual Community Platform (VCP), which provides a platform for emergency management communication, collaboration, community, and response actions. Content can include information drawn from Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML) pages, Rich Site Summary/Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, and other VCP app lists.


For more information on the vBEOC, please contact Chris Metz with the Argonne National Laboratory at 


Would you like to join the CAPSTONE-14 during a "Virtual VIP Day"? As a CUSEC newsletter subscriber, you have access to watch a live stream of various components of CAPSTONE-14 activities on June 17. From 9:30AM to Noon CDT, you can login to a live stream which is being graciously hosted by the National Information Sharing Consortium (NISC).  The CAPSTONE Virtual VIP Day will include: 

  • Invitation-only access to pre-event coverage of VIP analysis by Chairman of the CUSEC Board of Directors, Mr. Jonathon Monken, on CAPSTONE's VIP Day, June 17
  • Access to a live stream of various elements of the CAPSTONE-14 exercise

To access Virtual VIP Day, go to on June 17 at 9:30AM CDT. 


If you are on Twitter, be sure to look for #CAPSTONE14 posts, pictures, and links all week.  You can also follow @eqconsortium,   @_NISC, and @dhsscitech for CAPSTONE specific information feeds.  



In preparation for CAPSTONE-14, the CUSEC Member States have worked tirelessly to improve their capability to share information through Geographic Information Systems (GIS). During NLE11, 74 layers of information were shared between the CUSEC Member States and six Federal agencies. Today, these same States and agencies are able to share more than 1,500 data layers to display a variety of "Essential Elements of Information"(EEIs).  


EEIs are critical pieces of information that aid decision makers during emergency response. During CAPSTONE, these EEIs will be used to display (on a regional basis) the status of a variety of resources, transportation and infrastructure networks, and operations information.


Much of the progress since NLE11 is due to leveraging the operational and technical information sharing models and workflow provided by the National Information Sharing Consortium and support from the First Responders Group at the DHS Science & Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), with contract support from G&H International.


For CAPSTONE-14, the CUSEC Member States' GIS/IT Working Group, DHS S&T, and NISC have been busy creating new processes and technological capabilities. Highlights and key outputs of the GIS/IT Working Group during CAPSTONE include:

  • Development of regional data publication guidance, which details requirements for identifying EEIs.
  • Creation and sharing of more than 1,500 data layers using NISC information sharing models and technologies such as the ArcGIS suite and WebEOC.
  • Developing a model for the usage and integration of WebEOC fusion, ArcGIS Online, and consumer applications and GIS viewers.
  • Training on the Mutual Aid Support System and development of Mission Ready Packages and related data models for mutual aid.
  • Development of data models and usage of NISC provided apps to link the exercise injects provided by planning staff with the EEIs provided by operations staff and the data provided by GIS/IT staff.

For more on current technologies being used during CAPSTONE, we invite you to explore the following links:

During the past two years, the CUSEC Member States have continued to develop and improve post-earthquake building inspection capabilities. To support this, the third CUSEC-led Building Inspection Resource Deployment (BIRD) Workshop was held in February where States discussed challenges and successes of their programs and planned their participation in CAPSTONE-14.

In addition to the six two person Mission Ready Packages (MRP) CUSEC helped develop for Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) deployment, we developed six larger MRPs for 25-100 person teams. The States are beginning to load MRPs into the Mutual Aid Support System, an information system developed by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) to facilitate State-to-State resource sharing following disasters.


Four States have formal (or soon-to-be formal) post-earthquake building assessment programs:

TNSAVE, the newest State program, has recently drafted an Administrative and Operations Plan; built a web site and on-line application for members (both under construction); and worked to obtain not-for-profit status.
They recently met with an attorney and are moving forward with the creation of by-laws and initial election of officers, as well as plans for recruiting potential inspectors.


Also as part of CAPSTONE-14, CUSEC has worked to help the Member States develop a building inspector requirements scenario. It will be used during the exercise to portray the number of buildings damaged, and the number of inspection teams-and building inspectors-who will be required to assess buildings for safety following a major NMSZ earthquake. CAPSTONE-14 marks the first time that this capability will be examined on a large scale, regional basis.


Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee will all test post-disaster building inspector procedures during the exercise next week. The Indiana I-BEAM Team will hold a full-scale mobilization exercise this September. For more on the Building Inspector program, visit the CUSEC website


The CUSEC State Transportation Task Force (STTF) met in Nashville last fall during a CAPSTONE-14 transportation planning workshop. After not holding an official Task Force meeting for several years, the group discussed new ways forward and also elected Tom Korty of the Illinois Dept. of Transportation as Chairman. Previously focused primarily on highway related issues, the Task Force sees an urgent need to look at all modes of transportation and eventually set up subgroups for air, rail, water, and possibly utilities (fuel, pipelines, power lines, communications lines, water, sewer, etc.).


The Task Force is looking at building Mission Ready Packages for deployable post-earthquake bridge inspection teams; coordinating multi-state play in the CAPSTONE-14 exercise; and updating the CUSEC Multi-State Coordination Annex Transportation Appendix. In addition, they will seek funding from various public and private sources to support regional cooperation.


The group met again in Sikeston, Missouri on April 29-30 in a meeting hosted by the Missouri Dept. of Transportation. The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) funded the meeting to coordinate transportation involvement in CAPSTONE-14. The Task Force discussed multi-modal transportation issues and reviewed each State's plans for the exercise. Several Federal agencies were on hand as well. Briefings included:

  • Kentucky Air National Guard's rapid contingency airfield assessment capability (will deploy for CAPSTONE)
  • National Guard Bureau's draft New Madrid Seismic Zone Air Movement Coordination Plan
  • USTRANSCOM's Coalition Mobility System (plans, schedules and tracks shipments)
  • FAA's Web Automatic Detection and Processing Terminal, which also tracks movements
June 2014
June 16-20 - CAPSTONE-14 Multi-State Earthquake Exercise

June 22-25 - 39th Natural Hazards Research & Applications Workshop; Broomfield, CO
June 26-27 - International Conference on Multi-Hazard Approaches to Civil Infrastructure Engineering; Chicago, IL

July 2014 
July 14-18 - Esri Annual Conference; San Diego, CA
July 18 - Arkansas Governor's Earthquake Advisory Council Meeting; Jacksonville, AR
July 18 - Missouri S.A.V.E. Coalition Training; Joplin, MO
July 22 - Oklahoma Earthquakes Webinar; Virtual
July 28-29 - Public Information Officer Workshop; Memphis, TN

August 2014
August 4-6 -  HAZUS Annual Conference; Indianapolis, IN

For more information or to view other upcoming events, please visit the CUSEC website online calendar.