A statewide simulated earthquake drill began locally at this morning when Jackson County emergency planning staff set up a communication van at the Community Justice Building, 1101 W. Main St., Medford.

A statewide simulated earthquake drill began locally at this morning when Jackson County emergency planning staff set up a communication van at the Community Justice Building, 1101 W. Main St., Medford.

"Cascadia Peril" assumes a magnitude 9 quake off the Oregon coast that closes Interstate 5. Power lines go down and telephone service collapses.

In such a quake, the county courthouse, which has been the base for emergency operations in the past, would probably be unusable. Part of this training exercise involves setting up an alternate emergency operations center in the justice building.

In another part of the exercise, a shelter for companion animals will be established for people who have to evacuate their homes, but cannot bring their pets to designated shelters. That part of the exercise happens Monday at the Jackson County Exposition Park.

— Bill Kettler