MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you were at the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday you may have thought that a category 4 storm was just days away from hitting South Florida.
The room was full, each desk occupied with over 70 local and state agencies.
On the monitor a storm track showing a direct hit for South Florida. Not to worry today at least, this was just a drill.
“We try to make it as real as possible,” says David Downey the Fire Chief of Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue.
This is part of the annual training exercise prior to hurricane season done in concert with the state level exercise.
Walking through the room are controllers and observers. Each clearly marked but with different duties. Controllers inject scenarios such as the storm making landfall, flooding, or a shelter losing power.
The agencies then react to that and the process improved on as needed.
“We always tweak our processes and every time we find new challenges, we try to work through those,” says Downey. “There is never a perfect storm, never a perfect plan. We try to work through the issues to make them better.”
Isa Mendez is with FEMA and was a guest at the drill.
“The more prepared we are and the more we plan things ahead of time it’s going to be better for us to face any potential emergencies,” she says.
That is the main point that the organization wants to get out since they are still here helping the area recover from Hurricane Irma last season.
Being prepared is something everyone should be doing from the individual to the agencies. “The time to prepare is now,” added Downey. “No threat, no worries. That’s the biggest message to everyone. That’s the same thing we are doing, we are trying to be prepared.”