Stamford city government officials this week conducted their monthly Emergency Management Exercise on Hurricane Response and Preparedness exercise at the city's Emergency Operating Center.
Mayor Michael Pavia and Public Safety, Health & Welfare Director Ted Jankowski led the exercise on Wednesday, August 21, which consisted of tracking a hurricane that formed in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa with indications that it could be a Category 3 storm or higher. Officials dealt with issues that arose from landfall of a storm that ultimately struck at a Category 2 level, including downed trees and power lines, and massive flooding.
"The exercise was designed to test the city's abilities and resources for handling a Category 2 hurricane, one that would cause severe flooding, storm damage and power outage," said Pavia. "I believe we should always prepare for the worst case scenario so that we can provide the best possible response."
During the exercise, Stamford departments acted out the scenario and provided their pre-event planning and preparations. their response during the event and post-event mitigation operations.
There was additional focus put on updated emergency plans utilization of resources and equipment, status checks for manpower and employees, emergency and interagency communications, relocation sites, billeting of emergency response personnel, sheltering of displaced residents, restoration of power and services and similar needs during a hurricane of that size.
"The City of Stamford is always preparing for emergency events," said Jankowski. "All departments contributed in a very collaborative and professional response to the exercise. This exercise was beneficial and informative and addressed problems that could be encountered as well as solutions for catastrophic weather events."
Officials called for residents to be prepared themselves, and recommended following the emergency preparedness outlines at bepreparedstamford.org and ready.gov. Residents can also register for the Stamford Alert (CodeRED) system, which allows officials to quickly reach the masses via cellphone and VoIP contact. Residents can also call the Hurricane Hotline at 203.977.8840