Last Wednesday the City of Falls Church participated in the State Emergency Response Team Exercise Operation Open Door, a drill on sheltering. Over 20 volunteers acted as displaced persons, allowing City staff to practice sheltering and feeding using processes in the Emergency Operations Plan.
City of Falls Church Emergency Manager Capt. Tom Polera stated, “In recent years we’ve seen the devastating impact that hurricanes have on the local community; Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call to our region that preparedness and exercises must be ongoing.” He continued by praising City Staff: “All local government workers have an Emergency Support Function, which is in addition to their day to day jobs. These roles are mission critical to the community and should never be overlooked.” The City of Falls Church was one of nine Northern Virginia jurisdictions participating in this full scale exercise to test its local sheltering capabilities.
Capt. Polera also suggests that all Falls Church residents and businesses establish an Emergency Plan. Citizens can visit ReadyNOVA.com to develop an Emergency Plan and visit alert.fallschurchva.gov to sign up to receive emergency notifications via email or phone.