Delaware Public Media

Delaware agencies participate in national level hurricane prep exercise

May 5, 2018

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is joining four other states and Washington D.C. in a two-week-long Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) national level exercise.

A major hurricane makes landfall near Hampton Roads, Virginia and continues up the coast to cause severe damage to homes, businesses and critical infrastructure. That's the scenario the exercise envisions.

“We will be simulating a total activation at one point in the exercise. There are a couple of phases to it; right now we’re in the preparatory phase. We’re actually working with a simulated hurricane and watching its track, looking at it to make landfall in this region on a certain day,” said DEMA spokesman Gary Laing.

Laing says participants test their capabilities in pre-landfall protective actions and warning, sustained response and recovery planning, continuity of government and essential functions during a major disaster - such as a hurricane.

“Delaware will be participating with Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. And after (Hurricane) Katrina, there was legislation passed by Congress that mandated that portions of the country go through these types of exercise every few years. And it’s Region 3’s turn this time around.,” said Laing.

Laing adds state officials aren’t the only ones who should prepare for these situations.  He suggests residents start planning too. The 2018 hurricane season begins on June 1st.