Emergency Responders Evaluate Preparedness
May 8, 2007
By Don Wagner
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 8, 2007) - Government agencies and emergency responders who participated in last week's Ardent Sentry-Northern Edge '07 exercise in Providence, R.I., are analyzing data this week to evaluate their response to "Hurricane Yvette," a fictional Catogory-3 hurricane that hit the coast of Rhode Island May 3.
The exercise was hosted by U.S. Army Northern Command.
ARNORTH's largest and most complex exercise, AS-NE '07 gave federal, state and local authorities the opportunity to work together in a simulated disaster response.
Members of the NORAD, Federal Emergency Management Agency, all branches of the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard and various other federal, state, and local emergency-response organizations took part in the exercise.
"Army North works daily with federal and state planners to prepare for defense support to civil authorities," said Col. Frank Kosich, ARNORTH's defense coordinating officer, FEMA, Region I.
"We purposely built a sense of urgency into the exercise to bring out the best in the people here," said James Russo, FEMA's federal coordinating officer at the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency in Cranston, R.I. "With training, we will get better and better."
Exercise participants repeatedly commented on the value of the training and coordination that resulted from their joint efforts, but they also look forward to the conclusions that will come from it.
"We want to learn how to do a better job of anticipating needs and provide more timely responses," said Lt. Col. Joe Stawick, operations officer, Command Post II.
Other disaster training exercises related to AS-NE '07 are ongoing across the country through May 18.
ARNORTH is based at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.