Pawlet Discusses Emergency Management Scenarios
On January 23, the town of Pawlet conducted a tabletop exercise to assess how it would handle a significant flooding event. The exercise, held at the Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department’s firehouse, was coordinated by Robert Morlino, Pawlet emergency management director. The scenario presented to the group of 26 participants was a flooding event with slightly more disastrous impacts than the real-world effects from Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011. The major difference being that this exercise assumed widespread power outages, causing a greater challenge for communication between the response agencies. Based on this scenario, participants discussed how their agencies would prepare for, respond to and recover from such an event, with a focus on communication and coordination between responders, local, county and state, as well as the ability of Pawlet to operate during an emergency.
Those participating included Pawlet emergency management officials, members from the Pawlet and West Pawlet volunteer fire departments and the Pawlet Highway Department and representatives from the Mettawee Community School, Pawlet shelter management, Vermont State Police, American Red Cross, Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Vermont Public Safety Answering Point (e911), Rutland Regional Planning Commission, Vermont Department of Health, Vermont Emergency Operations Center, and the Washington County, N.Y., Department of Public Safety. Results from this exercise will be incorporated into Pawlet’s Emergency Operations Plan. The overall goal is to improve public safety in Pawlet, Vt.