Four states — Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia plus the District of Columbia — are participating in a National Level Exercise during the first two weeks of May.

In the scenario, a major hurricane makes landfall near Hampton Roads, Virginia, and continues on to cause severe damage to homes, businesses and critical infrastructure through the mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware. The exercise will examine the ability of all levels of government, private industry and nongovernmental organizations to protect against, respond to and recover from a mid-Atlantic hurricane.

Multiple agencies in Delaware will be involved in response to the simulated disaster over the two-week period, including Delaware Emergency Management Agency, Delaware Division of Public Health, Delaware Department of Transportation, Delaware State Police, Division of Communications, Delaware National Guard, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware Department of Education, Delaware Solid Waste Authority, New Castle, Kent and Sussex County Emergency Management offices, American Red Cross, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Emergency Management Agency Region III.

Participants will test their capabilities related to pre-landfall protective actions and warning, sustained response and recovery planning, continuity of government and essential functions during a major disaster and management of long-duration power outages and critical interdependencies.

The National Level Exercise was mandated by Congress in the Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

While officials in Delaware prepare for and test their capabilities to respond to a major natural disaster, there are actions that individuals, businesses and community organizations can take to sustain themselves in the event of an actual emergency.

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