POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Area agencies, volunteers, and members of the public will converge in Point Pleasant on Feb. 26 to conduct a weather related table top exercise, according to Matt Gregg, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for Mason County.
Gregg said Tony Edwards, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, will lead the exercise, which will mainly address flooding.
The event will allow the agencies to come together with their present plans, play out a scenario on paper, and make sure they have achievable goals, Gregg said. Along with flooding, the group will address hazardous materials, public notification, public health, sheltering and mass care, as well as other issues.
Gregg said invitations have been extended to fire departments, EMS, 911 telecommunicators, law enforcement, the health department, U.S. Coast Guard, faith-based volunteer groups, and the state Homeland Security office. He added agencies from Meigs and Gallia counties have expressed interest, as well.
Gregg said living on the border next to Ohio can be both a blessing and curse when dealing with emergencies involving the Ohio River.
“We share a common river, and share services such as the Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers, but have different state guidelines and are in different FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) regions,” he said.
The table top exercise will adhere to Homeland Security national standards. It will begin at 11 a.m. at the emergency management center, located at 911 Emergency Drive. The event will last approximately two hours, with lunch being provided.
Gregg said the event is open to the public, but to make sure there is adequate food and seating, those attending should register at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.