KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 7, 2010 – In an effort to test the response time and operational readiness of its employees, Kissimmee Utility Authority on Thursday, April 8 will conduct a full-scale mock disaster exercise.
The drill will involve a wide range of activities, including both live-action training as well as table top exercises. Activities will include pre- and post-hurricane scenarios that will be handled with the same intensity as real-life incidents.
A team of evaluators will be on the scene to observe the strengths and weaknesses of the utility. These observations will be shared with utility management in a post debriefing.
“One of the primary goals for us is to learn where our shortfalls are,” said Jef Gray, KUA’s vice president of information technology and this year’s drill coordinator. “We want to identify these 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. Earlier today, the nation’s top hurricane forecaster, Dr. William Gray from Colorado State University, predicted an “above-average” season in 2010 with 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and a 69 percent chance of at least one major hurricane making landfall on the U.S. coastline.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 62,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.
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Chris M. Gent