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Wilton Takes Part In Statewide Emergency Preparation Drill

Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan, center, speaks during a news conference on the town's power recovery efforts in a storm.
Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan, center, speaks during a news conference on the town's power recovery efforts in a storm. Photo Credit: File

WILTON, Conn. -- Local officials in Wilton are participating in a statewide emergency drill between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday to practice response to a major disaster.

Wilton officials said a school emergency drill is part of the exercise, but it will not involve schools, teachers or students.

Wednesday's drill is part of a two-day statewide emergency drill to practice coordination at all levels of government, with an emphasis on responding to school situations. The first drill was held Saturday.

Coordinated by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, the practice scenario will involve a tornado simulation in participating towns, and will test response to the disaster.

This is all part of Gov. Dannel Malloy's ongoing Emergency Preparedness and Planning Initiative, which began in 2011 and included the first statewide exercise in 2012. The state's other recent drills involved responses to hurricanes and major winter ice storms.

All state agencies are participating. For example, during Wednesday's drill, the state's urban search and rescue team will practice searching for victims in a collapsed building at Camp Hartell in Windsor Locks.

State officials will also support state and local emergency operations by staffing the state Emergency Operations Center in Hartford as needed during the exercise.

State officials say the drills are important to ensure strong cooperation between municipalities, state agencies and others involved in providing services. 

The state's utilities will also participate in the exercise in order to test their coordination and response to power restoration with participating municipalities and the state.

"Establishing strong partnerships among municipalities, state officials, and others is key to building cohesive response teams that more efficiently restore services, transportation, and normalcy," Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said. 

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