PHILADELPHIA – On October 24, 2019 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III joined Pennsylvania for a Mass Care Tabletop Exercise cultivating months of planning and cooperation with more than 40 partners from across the Commonwealth. The exercise tested FEMA and the Commonwealth’s ability to provide mass care services during a winter storm event leading to flooding and power outages throughout Central Pennsylvania.
The goal of the exercise was for FEMA and Commonwealth partners to focus on the interaction and resources that can assist Pennsylvanians, such as sheltering, feeding, reunification with loved ones and evacuee support. The exercise also tested processes to ensure all individuals could access needed services for themselves and their pets.
Opportunities to bring multiple partners together prior to a disaster is invaluable, said Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney, “The Commonwealth has been working over the last year with our office to build out plans to respond to a mass care event. This exercise is an important step to build on these efforts and test plans to ensure we are prepared to respond to any disaster within Pennsylvania.”
During a disaster, many partners lead the effort to provide services to help those in need. Through exercises, these partners get the opportunity to not only practice delivering their services but gain a better understanding of each other’s capabilities. Understanding what the whole community can bring in response to a disaster is critically important to delivering services in a timely manner.
In the year ahead, FEMA and the Commonwealth will continue to host opportunities to build relationships through trainings and exercises to build a culture of preparedness throughout the Commonwealth. Preparedness isn’t just for emergency managers, residents in the Commonwealth can get involved and take action to prepare for disasters by visiting www.ready.gov and www.ready.pa.gov.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Learn more about FEMA Region III at www.FEMA.gov/region-iii. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.