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MAINE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
Emergency Management To Be Put to the Test
October 28, 2009
AUGUSTA, MAINE -- For 24 hours beginning at 8:00 am on Thursday, October 29, and continuing to 8:00 am on Friday, the state will be dealing with power outages, telephone disruptions and loss of Internet services. State and County Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) will be operational to coordinate it all.
But don’t be concerned, it is all a drill. The Emergency Management Agencies will be fed a series of realistic but fictional challenges surrounding severe weather and solar phenomena which will test their ability to communicate and to coordinate response.
“When the state is experiencing the worst emergency conditions, our Emergency Operations Centers have to function,” says Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Director Rob McAleer. “This exercise will test not just our emergency power and communications, but also our staff’s ability to react and perform under challenging conditions.”
During any major emergency, County EOCs coordinate with local officials to assess conditions, facilitate the supply of emergency resources to Maine communities, and put out emergency information for the public. MEMA supports County and local operations from the State EOC. “This exercise is a special challenge for Counties,” McAleer says. “They are small agences. To remain operational for a long period of time, they will have to bring in additional personnel, either trained volunteers or people from other services.”
The public will not see a lot of activity, McAleer says, because the exercise “action” will take place in EOCs, which are normally closed facilities. But because the exercise will put a great deal of emphasis on radio communications, amateur radio users or those tuning in to scanners may hear some unusual communications. “Not to worry, it’s only a drill, “ McAleer says, “But one that will make us more prepared for the real thing.”
Last update: 07/20/10
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