Mock Disaster Drills Held Across Maine 

Real life practice to get ready for natural disasters.That’s what folks in Waldo County and elsewhere in Maine were doing today.As Meghan Hayward tells us, communications is a big key to success.”Update, Colonel Martin we’ll work on filling this request and get back in touch with York County EOC.”Folks at the Waldo County Emergency Operation Center and other counties across the state are holding mock disaster drills.Dale Rowley, Director of the Waldo County Emergency Management Agency, is busy doing what would need to be done if the disaster scenarios were real. “Basically it’s my job to ensure that there’s an emergency operation center for the county that is functional. So we do a lot of work before to get it up and running and then basically facilitate and manage it during the operation.”Rowley says a crucial part of having a successful operation is knowing the different communication methods available.”We have internet capability so we’re using some online portals for logging information. We’re also ensuring when that’s down we have telephone and fax.In the event phones and internet fail, they have ham radio as a back-up.”Ham radio basically is, they set up their own radio stations in a sense. And they can set them up just about anywhere. They use bans that have been authorized by the FCC. They are a lot more robust then CB radios and can go a lot further.”Ham radio operators were on hand during the drill, sending out test messages.”Mostly just pieces of equipment. We’re looking to find if one county has what another county needs and keeping communication up for it.”IT’s a practice run, but one County Commissioner Amy Fowler says can make a big difference.”In the event of something catastrophic and serious we have a plan and we have training and we can keep people safe, warm and fed.”