Mock Disaster Response Exercise Underway in Kissimmee

KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 12, 2018 – In preparation for the upcoming hurricane season, hundreds of Kissimmee Utility Authority employees are engaged in a full-scale mock disaster exercise this morning.

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

A team of observers are evaluating 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 in the plan 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 the number of named storms and hurricanes to be above historical averages, with a total of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 74,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.