University of California, Irvine Police Department
UC Irvine emergency management stakeholders convened in multiple capacities earlier this week to conduct annual exercising of emergency operation plans. Two exercises were conducted back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday in which participants responded to a common scenario dubbed the “Formidable Flood.” This scenario, which mirrored the impact of the ‘real world’ water main break at UCLA last year, prompted the UCI campus Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and several Department Operations Centers (DOC’s – Housing, Facilities Management & EH&S) to activate on Monday in an effort to exercise how such a coordinated response would occur. Then, on the following day, the UCI Care & Shelter Team (CAST) engaged in part II of this exercise scenario by opening, operating & closing a mock shelter at the Anteater Recreational Center (ARC) for those campus residents fictitiously displaced by the flood.
The two exercises rendered positive feedback from both participants and evaluators and there were some excellent observations voiced in the “hotwash” (after-exercise review) which followed both exercises. One of the common observational themes from the EOC/DOC exercise was “practice makes perfect and we get better with each exercise.” Participants agreed that the more opportunities they have to work within these EOC roles and collaborate with their cross-disciplinary counterparts in the EOC the more confident and effective they become. As with any good “hotwash,” the Emergency Services Unit took away some good documentation for improvement planning as well.
The consensus from the Care & Shelter Team was that “hands-on application of classroom training is invaluable.” This was the first exercise specifically designed to test the skills of the Care & Shelter Team since the group’s inception last year. All participants provided insightful feedback from their perspective on ways in which the team can improve moving forward as well as ways that future exercise design processes can be enhanced. The UCIPD would like to extend its gratitude, on behalf of the campus community, to all EOC/DOC participants and CAST members that participated in these exercises making UCI a more resilient campus. Additionally, this exercise could not have been such a success without the help of our campus CSAR & Zone Crew members, UCIPD volunteers and the American Red Cross. A warm recognition goes out to all of these individuals as well.
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UC Irvine Police Department