Utility to Conduct Mock Disaster Thursday

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 12, 2016 – In preparation for the upcoming hurricane season, hundreds of Kissimmee Utility Authority employees will engage in a full-scale mock disaster exercise on April 14.

Designed to test the preparedness of utility personnel to work cohesively in a crisis scenario, the five-hour drill will involve a wide range of activities, including both live-action training and table top exercises. Activities will include pre- and post-hurricane scenarios and other threats that will be handled with the same intensity as real-life incidents.

A team of observers will evaluate the drill to identify vulnerabilities and exposures and make recommendations for improvements. These observations will be shared with utility management in a drill debriefing.

“Disaster drills play an important role in the overall development and testing of an emergency plan,” said Jef Gray, KUA’s vice president of information technology and utility drill coordinator. “We want to identify any shortfalls now so they can be addressed prior to the start of hurricane season.”

The drill will not impact normal utility operations.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. Weather forecasters are predicting 14 named storms — two more than the average number and three more than the 11 that formed in the Atlantic in 2015. Of those 14, eight are likely to be hurricanes and six tropical storms.

Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 69,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.