WATERBURY -- Cities; towns; healthcare facilities; federal, state, and local responders; non-profit emergency partners; and many others will exercise emergency plans and procedures in a statewide catastrophic exercise. The activities from June 2-7 will simulate multiple disasters and events affecting all corners of Vermont.
Nearly 1600 participants will be faced with scenarios that will require them to perform life-saving duties, or tasks that assist in the aftermath of a catastrophic incident. Healthcare facilities will be presented with a surge of patients; a number of towns will set up emergency shelters to accommodate those who have been displaced from their homes due to the simulated disaster; utilities will be faced with special challenges; and more.
The Vermont State Emergency Operations Center will be open for several days culminating with a 36-hours operation beginning on Friday June 6 to test the capability of state responders. The EOC will be staffed by Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security staff, other state agencies, and volunteers for the duration. Support agencies like the American Red Cross will also be actively engaged and staffed appropriately.
State agency Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans will be practiced as certain agencies will be displaced from regular work locations for a short time throughout the week.
The exercise is the result of two years of planning by a group led by the VT Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Media is welcome to cover events throughout the week. For a list of event locations and times, contact VT DEMHS Public Information Officer Mark Bosma at 800-347-0488.