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HomeNewsArchivesHurricane-Preparation Exercise Brings Together Public and Private Agencies

Hurricane-Preparation Exercise Brings Together Public and Private Agencies

June 13,2008 — Hurricane season has begun and numerous entities are making sure they are prepared, with more than 50 people from government agencies, the private sector and volunteer organizations taking part Thursday in the V.I. Functional Hurricane Exercise.
The exercise took place at the V.I. Territory Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) in Estate Hermon Hill on St. Croix.
Participants were broken into groups and took part in a scenario where a Category Four hurricane hit and were asked to respond to how it impacted the territory. The exercises all began and ended with the statement "This is an exercise." This precaution was so that anyone who overheard the conversations would not mistake the exercise for a real emergency.
"This exercise was different from our usual yearly training workshops," said Clarice Blake, volunteer chair for American Red Cross emergency services. "It really helped me recognize different issues we deal with."
She expressed disappointment that the people sent from different organizations to the emergency operations center for the exercise were not the ones who make the decisions.
"Everything went well with the exercise," said Jacqueline J. Heyliger deputy director of VITEMA St. Croix. "It lent to more organization during a disaster."
The exercise plan was sponsored by the V.I. Department of Homeland Security, with assistance from the V.I. Hurricane Functional Exercise Planning Team. The planning team followed guidance set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program. Participants were from V.I. Fire Services, the Department of Health, V.I. Police Department, Red Cross, Hovensa, Juan F. Luis Hospital and other groups.
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