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Emergency Services conducts hurricane preparedness event

Poplarville-- Danny Manley, Director of Emergency Services for Pearl River County, held a hurricane preparation exercise on Thursday at the Emergency Operations Center in Poplarville. The attendees included personnel from the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office, Picayune and Poplarville Police Departments, Fire Departments, Pearl River County Search and Rescue, all three county school systems, as well as the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and other local officials.

Shawn Wise of MEMA explains parts of the exercise

“The purpose of the exercise here today was to get the EOC staff to the next level in understanding how to track information and put it down on paper so we can reimbursed from FEMA,” Manley stated.

Manley added, “Another aspect is to get the personnel here to know how to bring things back from the EOC to their agencies.”

Personnel were placed in specific Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) which identifies the specific activities required to support each numbered function and specifies the agencies and organizations that are responsible for performing those activities. Once placed in the ESFs, Manley generated mock events and requests as if they were coming in via phone calls to the Emergency Operations Center.

ESF teams work on events during exercise

The assigned ESF would come up with how to respond to such events as looting, to loose farm animals impacting travel, to supplies arriving from outside resources that need coordination, to problems at a shelter, and other scenarios that could happen during a catastrophic storm.

Picayune Fire Department's Barry Lee discusses actions to be taken

Part of the exercise was how to refine the processes in responding to events and requests that could occur in the event of a Category 5 hurricane coming right over Pearl River County. Another area of focus during the exercise was to identify areas where deficiencies may exist and document what will need to be in place to mitigate those deficiencies in a real event. Manley summed up the exercise.

“They did an outstanding job getting the forms turned in and the data was excellent. I look forward to working with each of them in the future,” Manley stated.


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