Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford) applauded Emergency Responders and Government leaders who came together at the Hartford Armory for a high-level briefing on the recent statewide emergency drill.
“One of the most important things government is responsible for is the safety of the public,” said Sen. Guglielmo.
At the end of July the administration hosted a statewide emergency drill with all state agencies and municipalities to practice disaster and emergency procedures. Over a four day period towns and cities were asked to pretend there was a hurricane heading for Connecticut – there goal prepare and respond.
Day 1 included pre-landfall preparation – what to do to get ready for a hurricane. Day 2 included post landfall response and recovery activities like road clearing, working with utilities and shelter coordination.
“The goal of the preparedness initiative was to enhance existing plans and increase the quality of communications,” said Sen. Guglielmo.
During this year’s legislative session lawmakers passed the Act Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response. The legislation was a direct result of the two storms that hit Connecticut last year. Tropical Storm Irene clobbered parts of the state including the quiet corner leaving residents with out power for more than a week. The second storm came in the form of an October Nor’easter – dumping snow and ice around the region.
“As legislators we heard loud and clear from constituents that they wanted accountability from utility companies,” said Sen. Guglielmo. “By holding utilities to a higher standard and investing in ideas like micro-grids and tree trimming we are enhancing the way emergencies are tackled.”
Each participating municipality who attended the July drill is now in the process of reporting back to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. Those who achieve benchmarks will receive a $1,200 grant from the state.
Moving forward there will be a follow on exercise for 2013, which will include the outcome of the 5 regions and what worked and what didn’t.
(Senator Tony Guglielmo is a ranking member of the Public Safety Committee)