Southbury participated in a statewide disaster drill Monday.
“I am committed to participating in these exercises as a way to make sure the Town’s emergency response team is as prepared as possible. These exercises are the best approach I know”, said First Selectman Ed Edelson.
The scenario for this exercise was a Category 1 Hurricane strikes the entire State during high tide, flooding shoreline communities. This event is preceded by an extended period of rainfall that has saturated the ground, causing rivers and streams to overrun their banks in upland communities.
Immediately following the storm’s arrival, a front brings more rain and high temperatures and humidity. Tree foliage is in full bloom, causing many trees to come down on power lines, roads, and into rivers and streams, causing blockages and more flooding issues.
Due to the flooding, evacuations in low-lying areas near river communities and around the shore are considered, along with the accompanying shelter and transportation issues.
The entire exercise simulates the anticipated response to this scenario during pre-storm planning phase, storm response phase and two recovery phases – immediately thereafter and long term (5 days plus after the event).
Testing our collective (local, state, federal, private sector) response to this event is critical to making sure we are ready and able to mitigate the direct impact of a Category 1 Hurricane as well as addressing how our communities recover.
Our Local Emergency Planning Committee is already working on preparing for the scenario so that we learn as much from the exercise as possible.
Our experience in recent years showed the importance of not only being organized and prepared on a local basis but to make sure we communicate and integrate our response with others including utilities, businesses, nearby towns and State offices.
This is a good time to remind all of us that the first level of response is our own personal preparation. The basic rule is that each household should be prepared to take care of itself in an emergency for the first 72 hours with adequate water, food and other necessary supplies. More information, including an Emergency Planning Checklist, can be found on our town website. www.southbury-ct.org/emergency-planning (Look under Boards and Commissions, Local Emergency Planning Committee and scroll to bottom of the page.)