FORT DRUM — Fort Drum officials will know next week whether they are capable of taking care of soldiers, their families and the post’s workforce during a national disaster like the north country’s 1998 Ice Storm.
Dozens of Fort Drum directorates and organizations will be involved in a full-scale exercise Aug. 12-15, to test the installation’s emergency response capabilities.
Fort Drum emergency manager Rich Hughes said the annual readiness exercise will be based on a severe weather scenario, similar to the 1998 Ice Storm that devastated the north country and left an estimated 100,000 households without power for weeks.
“We’re using the most devastating natural disaster to hit this area of the country — the 1998 Ice Storm — as the scenario to test Fort Drum’s ability to take care of our soldiers, families, retirees, civilian and contract workforce, as well as support the surrounding communities during a disaster while continuing to execute our mission,” he said.
“To that purpose, we are exercising emergency response and recovery capabilities so that we have the necessary systems and resources in place to be resilient if and when it happens.”
During the exercise, area residents may see an increased volume of emergency, fire and police vehicles from Fort Drum, as well as from north country agencies, as they respond to simulated incidents during the exercise.
“The disruption to installation operations and scheduled events should be minimal,” Mr. Hughes said.
Fort Drum personnel and family members who subscribe to the installation’s At Hoc Notification System will receive phone, text and/or computer alerts when the exercise begins.
The alerts will also be posted on the Fort Drum app, which can be downloaded on Apple and Android phones. Soldiers can register themselves and their families for emergency notifications by calling (315) 772-6070.