On December 3-5, 1998, NASA Ames Research Center Conducted a major emergency response exercise in conjunction with the cities of Sunnyvale and Mountain View, the County of Santa Clara, Military partners such as the 129th Air National Guard Rescue Wing, the Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unity, the Coast Guard, and local hospitals. This exercise was dubbed Exercise '98. The exercise began Thursday morning at 7:47 with a major earthquake simulated on the Hayward Fault and ended with a building fire on Saturday the 5th. The Ames/Moffett Emergency Operations Center was activated to coordinate the response efforts to this exercise. Well over four hundred personnel participated in this exercise.
The exercise included multiple functional elements that involved various emergency response groups actually performing the tasks that they may be called upon in a true disaster to perform. Elements included response to simulated hazardous materials "spills", utility "outages", airfield "disasters" (both runway and mid-air), high angle rescue, collapsed structure rescue, water rescue and others. On Saturday, The Ames Moffett Fire Department was presented with a real burning building. DART participated in the response.
The preparation for the event was quite extensive. Preparation started six months in advance and involved a concerted effort of 28 planners. The exercise was determined by all participating organizations to be a great success.