Virginia Beach holds drill on disaster preparedness

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s a test no one wants to fail. Are you prepared for a weather emergency?

Thursday the city of Virginia Beach gave their distribution system a trial run.

“It’s a way for the city to hand out mass quantities of a commodity,” said Emergency Coordinator Bob Engle.  “Today we happen to be handing out water, but we could hand out anything such as tarps, ice, or even medication on a large scale.  We monitor the thru-put so that if we have to hand out several thousands or tens of thousands of a commodity we know how many cars we can put through here.”

10 On Your Side’s Anita Blanton was at First Colonial High School where workers were waving people in and sending them off with cases of water and valuable information to go.

The last time Virginia Beach did a Point of Distribution or POD Emergency Training exercise was 2012. The emergency coordinator says it was a much slower process then and cars were backed up. This time hundreds of residents showed up but they weren’t waiting in line long.

“It’s preparing for emergencies and it’s good practice just to see how things go and how smooth it runs,” said Jerry Malesky. “For me it’s been excellent. I mean less than 10 minutes so far.”

They say practice makes perfect and city officials in Virginia Beach are sure hoping they get their disaster preparedness system down to a science well before a disaster takes place.

With dozens of volunteers ready to go they started their POD drill. And by the time they finished today 425 cars came through and they say all systems are ago to help more if and when the time comes.

Interestingly, Virginia Beach also unveiled a new online app today as well that will provide information for citywide or neighborhood evacuations during emergency weather events.




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