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Statewide Emergency Exercise Preps Agencies for Severe Weather Event
More than 30 organizations come together to prepare for worst-case scenarios
In the face of severe weather and other catastrophic incidents,ensuring that critical infrastructure is protected and can be restored quickly and safely is paramount. For the third time, Ameren Illinois is partnering with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency andmore than 30 state, county, municipal, public and private entities for “Operation Power Play.”Operation Power Play will test how agencies would respond in an extreme flooding scenario throughout Illinois.
"Effectively managing a crisis situation today requires collaboration between energy companies, first responders and partner agencies," said Richard J. Mark, Chairman and President, Ameren Illinois. "This hands-on exercise brings all of the key players together to refine our emergency response processes and, most importantly, ensure that we're effectively communicating so service can be restored as quickly and safely as possible."
Operation Power Play will be held in multiple locations throughout Illinois. Chicago activities will begin at the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) on May 18. On May 19, the exercise will shift to UIC where participating agencies will continue the exercises and showcase equipment and vehicles that would be used as part of a response.
During Operation Power Play-Chicago, the group will coordinate a multi-agency response to storm-damaged areas with a number of partner agencies participating onsite at OEMC and UIC and remotely at locations all around the state. In addition, a suspicious package removal exercise will be conducted at a ComEd substation as well as a leak of oil from an underwater transmission cable in the Chicago River with the U.S. Coast Guard. Following the exercise, participants will meet to review processes, discuss lessons learned and look for opportunities for improvement.
In Springfield, Ameren Illinois will be conducting a tabletop discussion with participants from IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Association), the National Weather Service, the State Terrorism Intelligence Center (STIC), and multiple companies from central and southern Illinois. The event will be from 8:00 a.m. until noon at the IEMA Main Office, 2200 South Dirksen Parkway.
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