|Contact: Steve Jensen
|July 24, 2012|
GOV. MALLOY: STATEWIDE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE TO BEGIN JULY 28
Four-Day Exercise Will Simulate a Category 3 Hurricane in an Effort to Test Improvements to Communication, Road Clearance and Power Restoration Protocols
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that a four-day statewide emergency preparedness drill designed to simulate a Category 3 hurricane will begin on July 28th and run through July 31st. Coordinated by the state's Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), the exercise is designed to improve communication between the state's utility companies and state and local governments in the event of an emergency or other natural disaster.
"We must always look to improve the way we respond to an emergency, so that when disaster strikes, the state's utility companies and every level of government has a clear mission and goal," Governor Malloy said. "Storms and other emergencies are inevitable, but the more we all work together, the more we can limit the impact of those disasters, so that aid reaches those most in need of help; roads, schools and businesses can re-open more quickly; and communities can return to normal sooner than might otherwise be possible."
"This drill is an important part of our commitment to ensure that the people of Connecticut receive the timely, coordinated response they deserve when the next inevitable catastrophe hits," Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. "These four days will create a blueprint of how we can improve our infrastructure and preparation so that our residents never have to endure the level of hardship and frustration that they dealt with last fall."
The four-day exercise will be segmented into two, two-day drills. Saturday (July 28) and Monday (July 30) will focus on pre-hurricane landfall, while Sunday (July 29) and Tuesday (July 31) will focus on post-landfall. Each day's drill is designed to test a specific, unique set of protocols. Governor Malloy and Lt. Governor Wyman will participate in the Saturday and Sunday exercise.
Municipalities that have volunteered to participate will receive a $1,200 stipend to supplement local costs associated with the exercise. The funding was received by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) through a U.S. Department of Energy grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
The response is a part of the Governor's Emergency Preparedness Initiative . Overall goals of the exercise, which were based on observations and comments received from local officials following the two severe storms of 2011, include:
- Improving communications for road clearing & utility restoration: Utility company crews will be working with participating towns' public works crews to execute a new "Make Safe" protocol that will enhance road clearance processes and communication.
- Activating local emergency operations centers (EOC): All participating towns will have key local officials and leaders meet at their local EOC to simulate preparedness, response, and recovery planning.
- Establishing coordinated emergency shelters: Municipalities will exercise five multi-jurisdictional shelters (one in each DEMHS region) across the state in an effort to test sheltering capabilities.
At Governor Malloy's direction, state agencies are also participating fully, including a test of each agency's Continuity of Operations plan. State officials will also support state and local emergency operations through the staffing of the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which will be activated during the exercise.
Participants in the exercise will include the relevant state agencies; the state's municipalities and tribal nations; the Red Cross; United Way 211; utility companies (CL&P, United Illuminating, AT&T, Comcast, Cablevision, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, Charter, Cox and MetroCast); and representatives of the private sector.
Materials related to the exercise and to the Governor's Emergency Planning and Preparedness Initiative can be found at www.ct.gov/demhs .