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emerg prep mock pr conf 270The Municipality of Meaford conducted an emergency preparedness exercise on Thursday October 10, along with a number of partners including Grey County EMS, the Meaford Hospital, Social Services, and Town of the Blue Mountains.

All municipalities are required to develop an Emergency Management Program to ensure that they are prepared for an emergency. The program includes an Emergency Management Plan, public education activities, and the appointment of a Emergency Management Committee. In previous years municipal staff had conducted table-top exercises in order to work through the simulated emergency, but this year for the first time Meaford staged a full simulation.

The planned exercise tested Meaford's Emergency Management Plan in a simulated water emergency. Throughout the day Grandview Drive was closed in front of the water treatment plant as part of the exercise. Municipal staff simulated the tasks to be completed during an emergency including issuing mock media releases alerting the public to the simulated water emergency.

During the exercise media was told that a vehicle collision had damaged the pumping station at the water treatment plant prompting a full water ban to be issued. A subsequent watermain break made matters worse under the simulation.

After a mock press conference held at Meaford Hall on Thursday afternoon, Mayor Barb Clumpus told The Independent that the exercise had gone well.

It's an excellent learning environment, it really is,” Mayor Clumpus told The Independent. “We have met over the course of the year as a team, but there's nothing like a real exercise to really nail down some of the things that we may have missed.”

Photo: Meaford Mayor Barb Clumpus and CAO Rob Armstrong held a mock press conference at Meaford Hall on Thursday October 10, as part of an emergency preparedness exercise.