Maricopa County to participate in statewide exercise
County Joins 240 Other Agencies to Test Response to Extended Power Outage
(PHOENIX) On Wednesday, November 6 and 7, Maricopa County will be joining more than 240 agencies around the state to exercise emergency response to an extended power outage. The County will activate its Emergency Operations Center in cooperation with representatives from a range of County departments including Public Health, Environmental Services, and the Sheriff’s Office, to test various systems and practice a unified response to a simulated, extended loss of power.
“Maricopa County is the fourth largest county in the nation,” Chairman Andy Kunasek, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said. “We participate in these exercises to ensure the county’s response is timely and integrated with other local governments, tribes and non-governmental agencies.”
Details about the exercise are being withheld until the day of the event to preserve the integrity of the response from participating agencies. The exercise is designed to test how well participating agencies respond to a widespread power loss and challenges stemming from that event. The first day of the exercise, November 6, is a “functional exercise,” and will take place at various emergency operation centers in Arizona. A functional exercise is a simulated emergency event that focuses on roles and coordination of multiple organizations. No loss of electric service is expected as part of this simulation.
The following day, November 7, participants will engage in a tabletop exercise in which the simulated emergency response focused on operational plan assessment and in-depth problem solving.
Preparedness exercises provide a learning environment for emergency management communities and provide an opportunity to apply training and practice procedures. Although the events will be simulated and Arizona residents will not be impacted by the exercise, these general preparedness tips are worth repeating:
• Staying in contact is important. Keep a battery-operated radio and phone readily accessible in case of a power outage. Remember, if your phone at home plugs in, it won’t work during a power outage. Think of how you could keep your cell phone powered throughout such an emergency.
• Keep a supply of drinking water on hand. Officials recommend one gallon, per day per person for three days at a minimum.
• Make a kit. Having extra supplies at home is important. This would include not only extra medications and necessities, but also foods that could be prepared without electricity. Or, include alternative heating sources within your kit.
For more information regarding how the public can prepare for any emergency, visit Ready.gov.