KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 8, 2014 – In an effort to assess the preparedness of its personnel to work cohesively in a crisis scenario, Kissimmee Utility Authority will conduct a full-scale mock disaster exercise on Thursday, April 10.
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 2014 with 11 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes, according to a forecast released March 24 by Weather Services International, a subsidiary company of The Weather Channel. Cooler-than-average waters in the eastern Atlantic and the likelihood of an El Niño are the primary reasons for the lower forecast.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 64,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.
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Chris M. Gent