Utility to Conduct Mock Disaster Wednesday

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 13, 2015 – In preparation for the upcoming hurricane season, hundreds of Kissimmee Utility Authority employees will engage in a full-scale mock disaster exercise on April 15.

Designed to test the preparedness of utility personnel to work cohesively in a crisis scenario, the four-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 a below-average season for 2015 with seven named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane, according to an initial forecast released April 9 by Colorado State University. This forecast is well below the 30-year average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 67,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.

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Contact: Chris Gent