Emergency Preparedness Conference Kicks Off In Augusta 

More than 500 people are expected to pack the Augusta Civic Center over the next two days for the Maine Emergency Preparedness Conference.Those in attendance will learn more about how other states handle emergency preparation and response.First responders, government officials, and school administrators are just a few of the people who are registered to attend.Peter Coffey from the Vermont Emergency Management Agency delivered the keynote address Tuesday.Coffey discussed his state’s preparation for and response to Hurricane Irene that devastated parts of Vermont. “I think the biggest thing is making sure the locals are prepared,” Coffey said. “That’s the whole mantra of this. It always has been and you need to be prepared for a minimum of 72 hours to be on your own. Either as a family or as a community.”The conference continues tomorrow when hazardous materials response is on the agenda.