Photos via Facebook
WCAX News Story
WCAX News Video
WPTZ/NECN News Story (Photo is a video link)
Emergency Responders and supporting agencies are preparing for the largest emergency preparedness exercise in Vermont history. The catastrophic exercise will take place September 24, 25, and 27. The event is part of National Preparedness Month in Vermont and has been in the works for more than a year.
The exercise will involve some 750 emergency responders; local, state, and federal employees; private businesses; and community volunteers. It will take place in some 25 locations spread throughout Vermont in communities like Swanton, Berlin, Barre, Waterbury, Stowe, St. Johnsbury, Burlington, and Jericho.
The exercise will simulate a massive natural disaster devastating the state; causing mass casualties, tens of thousands of power outages, extensive damage including thousands of downed trees, flooding, and the aftermath of these events. Some events will be played out, like the removal of downed trees by chainsaw crews, search & rescue missions, medical surge/mass care facility activation, communications activities, as well as other actions. Volunteer actors will physically play the parts of victims in some of these scenarios.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will send an assistance team to Vermont to simulate the process of receiving federal assistance for the mock disaster.
The exercise will be played out continuously for 30 straight hours from 8 a.m. on Friday the 24th until 4 p.m. on Saturday the 25th. Monday the 27th will only be a discussion between response agencies and will not be played out like the first two days. The scenario is intended to be a realistic, yet rare event for Vermont with similar destruction to the 1938 hurricane that hit the state.
Check back here for updates throughout the event.