Emergency response agencies in Alachua County will be conducting a Continuity of Operations (COOP) Functional Exercise on Thursday, November 17 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., with a de-briefing at the County Emergency Operations Center at noon.
The purpose of the exercise is to simulate the activation of various COOP Plans in response to a terrorism incident. COOP Plans are designed for an event that necessitates the relocation of an agency from its primary facility to an alternate site when the main facility becomes incapacitated, such as when damage has occurred.
During Hurricane Katrina, the City of New Orleans staff had to abandon their command post when the emergency generator ran out of fuel. They relocated to a nearby hotel and commandeered equipment from a local electronics store in order to restore communications.
Disaster preparedness is a year round task that involves many agencies within Alachua County. Continuity of Operations is one more facet of emergency response that must be developed and practiced to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
The following agencies will be participating in the exercise:
- Alachua County Fire Rescue
- Alachua County Public Works
- Alachua County Sheriff's Office
- Gainesville Fire Rescue
- Gainesville Police Department
- Gainesville Public Works
- University of Florida Police Department
Additionally, the Florida Farm Bureau will be providing its facilities to support the exercise. For more information, contact David Donnelly, of Alachua County Emergency Management, at (352) 264-6500.