Mock Disaster to Strike Kissimmee

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 31, 9:30 am — As Florida prepares for another hurricane season beginning on June 1, Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) will conduct a large-scale mock disaster drill on Tuesday, April 1, to test emergency equipment, measure response time, and evaluate communication within the utility.
At approximately 8:00 am on Tuesday, a general alarm will sound and employees will respond to a simulated hurricane strike. The exercise, which is expected to last approximately four hours, will be treated as if it were a real-life disaster. Casualties and a simulated evacuation of facilities will form part of the exercise.
The drill will involve a wide range of activities, including a simulation of cyber terrorism, a hazardous chemical spill, power line and substation damage, repair of utility vehicles in the field, power outages, production of sandbags at both power plants, and the testing of all emergency generators. During the drill, an evaluation team will also throw out unexpected scenarios to test the readiness of utility employees.
Although it’s a drill, utility employees are taking it seriously, following the same procedures they would if the disaster was real.
“These drills prepare our employees to respond to any emergency,” said Jef Gray, KUA’s vice president of information technology and this year’s drill coordinator. “We believe our fast and effective recovery from the February 1998 tornado is directly attributable to these annual disaster trainings.”
Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted 12 named storms in 2003, eight of which would be hurricanes with three major or intense storms.
Founded in 1901, KUA is Florida’s 6th largest community-owned utility serving 58,000 electric, water and internet customers in five Central Florida counties.
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Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Corporate Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116
cgent@kua.com