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News | Dec. 5, 2018

Alaska Sub-Office Exemplifies Teamwork during 7.0 Earthquake

On November 30, 2018, at approximately 8:29 a.m. a massive earthquake rocked Anchorage, Alaska, causing extensive damage. In DCAA’s Anchorage office, auditors took cover under their desks immediately. The rumbling was so forceful that items from desks, walls, and the ceiling instantly began to fall and shatter. Auditor Marty Taylor said of this experience, “It felt like we were in a blender.” Supervisory Auditor DuJuanna Horton remembered, “the rumbling was so loud my family couldn’t hear my directions to safety” The initial quake was soon followed by a 5.7 magnitude aftershock.  

In the aftermath of the quake and aftershocks, the audit staff came together as a team. They staff ensured everyone was safe and quickly began helping each other. During the first few hours, one auditor checked on her supervisor’s house to assess damage because he was out of town. A few days later, an auditor’s husband went to the same house to meet with the gas company to ensure the gas was turned back on before he returned home from his trip. That weekend another auditor began to accumulate cleaning supplies to share with the office once recovery efforts could start. As the auditors teleworked, the office management team worked to get the office back up and running, which was accomplished the following Friday

The Regional Audit Manager, Sonmi Choison, complimented the office by saying, “the teamwork shined during this national disaster and after. The office is now open, and the team is working very hard to get significant audits on track to meet their due dates while they clean up huge messes around the office.”