KERMIT – Last weekend, Chesapeake Energy and the Mingo County Emergency Management sponsored a tabletop exercise to prepare for an emergency in the Kermit area.
The exercise was sponsored by Chesapeake Energy and the Mingo County Emergency Management. The Kermit Volunteer Fire Department and the Warfield Fire Department attended the exercise.
Doug Goolsby, Director of the Mingo County Emergency Management explained that the exercise allowed learning in a non-life threatening environment. “These exercises allow learning in a non-life threatening, and no fault atmosphere,” Goolsby stated.
The exercise focused on a tornado scenario. “The scenario was tornado that had hit down town Kermit, resulting in a direct hit on the Chesapeake plant. Evacuation routes, sheltering, and Emergency Operations were discussed and problems were solved by those who attended,” Goolsby explained.
Although Mingo County is not an area that often suffers the impact of a tornado, Goolsby stated that the exercise was beneficial and helped better prepare for an Emergency Response event. “ These exercises can only strengthen our Emergency Response for our County, even though we are not prone for tornadoes, the emergency procedures and plans discussed during the exercise may be beneficial in the future for other emergencies,” Goolsby said.
According to the FEMA website, the tabletop exercises are a virtual exercise offered monthly. The website states, “The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) conducts a monthly series of Virtual Table Top Exercises (VTTX) using a video teleconference platform to reach community based training audiences around the country and provide a virtual forum for disaster training. The VTTX process involves key personnel from the emergency management community of practice reviewing a pre-packaged set of exercise materials then convening for a four hour table top exercise discussing a simulated disaster scenario. The event allows the connected sites to assess current plans, policies and procedures while learning from the other connected sites as they provide their perspective and practices facing a similar situation. A standard VTC system is required for participation.”
For more information visit www.training.fema.gov.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)