The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III recently conducted an exercise in Central Pennsylvania to test the state’s ability to provide mass care services during a winter storm event leading to power outages and flooding.
The Mass Care Tabletop Exercise was held with the cooperation of more than 40 partners from across the state. Its goal was to test processes to ensure people could access services for themselves and their pets and to focus on resources such as evacuee support, reunification with family, food, and shelter.
The exercise allowed the partners to understand each other’s capabilities and to practice delivering their services.
“The commonwealth has been working over the last year with our office to build out plans to respond to a mass care event,” MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA regional administrator, said. “This exercise is an important step to build on these efforts and test plans to ensure we are prepared to respond to any disaster within Pennsylvania.”
It is critically important to deliver services promptly, FEMA said, and this can be achieved by understanding what the entire community can bring to a disaster response.
FEMA and the state will hold training and exercises in 2020.