Severe weather exercise today

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Each year local, county, and state agencies participate in a Severe Weather Exercise.

The exercise scenario is designed to allow all local agencies and the county to experience significant weather problems from severe thunderstorms, flooding and tornado.  The county-wide annual severe weather exercise will be held on Wednesday, March 30th with the annual Tornado Warning at 9:00am that day for all schools, hospitals, and critical needs facilities.

Municipalities will be opening and staffing their municipal emergency operations center (EOC) either at 9:00am or at 7:00pm which ever time is best for them and their staff that day.  They are to invite their fire chief, elected officials, ambulance, and police chief, and public works, as part of their EMA Team.  Five exercise objectives have been set for the municipal EMA’s to accomplish:

1. meet and greet those that are a part of their municipal EMA team
2. overview of municipality’s emergency operations plan
3. setting up a municipal EOC
4. have elected officials sign a Declaration of Disaster Emergency form and send it to the county EOC
5. call the critical needs facilities in your municipality notifying them of the exercise.  You can leave a voice mail message if no one answers

Crawford County EMA will staff and operate the County EOC to support the municipal EOC both at 9:00am and 7:00pm.  An amateur radio operator from the Crawford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) will be sent to each staffed municipal EOC to be the communication link back to the county as well as using Knowledge Center for those that can log in.  At the county level we will be sending damage assessment teams out to neighboring townships to test our damage assessment operations.  “Once a year the entire county has an opportunity to practice what they would do in the event of a major emergency by activating and testing their emergency plans,” said Allen Clark, Crawford County EMA Director, “all emergencies and disasters are local and this exercise tests the local response to emergencies with the county supporting those efforts.”

Public Safety Officials cannot stress enough for families to be prepared to survive for at least three days without outside assistance.  Some disasters have affected entire communities and public safety will quickly respond to provide emergency assistance.  But if you are not injured and do not need emergency help, you should have a plan and a kit to survive at least three days without power and outside help.  If everyone would that, then the stress on the emergency management system could concentrate on the injured and damaged buildings.

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