Emergency Preparedness Council Convenes Senior Leaders Seminar

Apr 30, 2015

Frank Principi, Supervisor for the Woodbridge District of Prince William County and Chair of the EPC, kicked off the event.

Emergency managers and elected officials from around the National Capital Region participated in a seminar this week to discuss various roles and responsibilities during a major emergency – a hypothetical Category 2 hurricane that caused major damage.

The tabletop exercise and discussion focused on a “Hurricane Cruella” that caused multiple deaths in the region as a result of sustained winds of 105 miles per hour with severe rain and flooding.  The impacts of the storm which would challenge emergency managers included the projections that large portions of the area’s interstates would be strewn with downed power lines and debris and major bridges would be closed. Hundreds of thousands of people would be without power, homes and communications systems would be severely damaged and tourist hotels and homeless shelters overwhelmed.

Participants were instructed how management systems like the Incident Command System that’s used by first responders and the Regional Emergency Coordination Plan developed by the Council of Governments should be used during emergencies, and discussed the possibility of developing a multiagency coordination system in the region.  They also learned how incidents can be grouped according to their degrees of complexity.

As a result of Hurricane Cruella, however, the traditional capacity of the region to provide mutual aid would be gone as all jurisdictions used resources to meet their own enormous requirements.  It became clear during the scenario that help from the federal government and other states would be needed.

The session began, however, with an update on the protests and later riots that had occurred in Baltimore early in the week following the injury and death of a man following his arrest on a city street.

COG Executive Director Chuck Bean and FEMA Region 3 Administrator MaryAnne Tierney.

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