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Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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NATIONAL PARK HURRICANE PREPARATIONS IN PLACE

Acting V.I. National Park Supt. Judy Shafer says she's satisfied with the hurricane season preparations recently completed at the park.
A lot was accomplished during the "Incident Command" drill conducted Thursday and Friday, Shafer said. The purpose of the drill was to enable park personnel to "do as much work as possible when we're not in a serious situation," she said.
For the two-day exercise, all park operations were shut down except for the Cruz Bay Visitor Center and the ranger station. About 60 park employees then assumed their assigned duties under the Incident Command. "Every one in the park is assigned to a particular function under Incident Command mode," Shafer said, explaining that the recently adopted emergency response system is in use throughout the country by the National Park Service and essential emergency service agencies.
Workers prepared unoccupied park buildings, cleared away debris to allow for free flow of storm waters and conducted emergency generator power checks, she said.
Shafer, who has been park deputy superintendent for two years, has served as acting superintendent since Supt. Russell Berry Jr. retired last month. She said the preparations carried out during the two-day drill will help park personnel utilize their time more effectively, should there be a need to move into Incident Command mode in a real weather emergency later this hurricane season.

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