Friday, June 01, 2012
Atlantic County Prepares for Hurricane Season with Disaster Exercise and Trainings
The Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins June 1. But the Atlantic County Office of Emergency Preparedness knows it is never too early to prepare which it has been doing with a recent disaster exercise and ongoing trainings.
Approximately 40 individuals participated in a two-day emergency exercise at the Anthony "Tony" Canale Training Center in Egg Harbor Township in May. The exercise simulated a category 2 hurricane that makes landfall in New Jersey coupled with multiple building collapses, a hazardous materials incident, a Coast Guard rescue, extreme flooding, power outages, massive beach erosion, and more.
Participants included county and municipal employees, first responders, law enforcement and utility representatives, and community partners such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Each individual was challenged by being pushed from their comfort zone with successive and extreme emergency conditions that demanded their immediate attention and response. Quick thinking decisions were the call of order. Emergency officials from agencies throughout the country observed and critiqued the "learning laboratory."
Eleven county residents recently completed a 24-hour Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) training program provided by the Atlantic County Office of Emergency Preparedness to help them be better prepared for a disaster. The training focuses on skills needed to prepare and respond to disasters, not only to ensure the safety and protection of themselves and their families, but also to assist first responders and community members. Training includes basic fire extinguishing, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster mental health and more.
The Office of Emergency Preparedness also sponsors ongoing American Red Cross Shelter Operations Training in an effort to work with municipalities, partner agencies and the community to strengthen the county's disaster response capabilities.
Residents interested in either or both of these training classes may call (609) 272-9495 for more information. The county also accepts community members as part of the Community Emergency Response Team and the Medical Reserve Corps. Visit www.ReadyAtlantic.org to learn more.
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