Exercise Typhoon Pac'yu starts Monday - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Exercise Typhoon Pac'yu starts Monday

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - On Monday federal and local government agencies will come together for their annual training to get ready for typhoon season. It has been over a decade since the island has seen experienced the true wrath of Mother Nature, but with typhoon season fast approaching and a slightly higher chance of Guam  being in the path of a typhoon, our island's first responders are gearing up to test their skills during "Typhoon Pac'yu", amply translated "Typhoon Typhoon".

Various local and federal agencies to include FEMA Region IX will participate in the exercise which is scheduled to kick off Monday. This annual exercise changes every year focusing on different aspects of a typhoon scenario.

Alyssa Benito is the spokesperson for Guam Homeland Security and says, "What differentiates this year's exercise from last year is last year we focused on the recovery piece this year we are focusing on the response piece so what participants are going to be able to do is go back to their agencies and look at their shortfalls and hopefully we can fill those gaps in."

On Monday the exercise will start with a heavy weather briefing from the National Weather Service. Day 2 will commence the functional exercise where all the participants will play out the scenario at the Emergency Operating Center followed by a tabletop discussion and assessment of performance on Day 3. "Last year we're playing as if the typhoon actually hit Guam and then we're recovering from the impact. This year we're in pre-land fall so we are preparing two days before the actual system reaches Guam," she said.

This exercise ties in previous FEMA workshops by allowing participants to fill out action request forms needed in FEMA response. Although Guam has not been hit by a typhoon in a long time preparations is still a must. She said, "Luckily Guam hasn't been hit by a typhoon in over a decade and you know we always pray that we never get hit by a typhoon with that being said the threat still exists. Being able to practice being able to train, workshops is only going to better prepare us for when a real incident hits Guam."

While our island's responders are gearing up to play out a typhoon scenario, residents are reminded that preparation is key. Every residence should have a typhoon kit assembled and a plan of action should a typhoon hit our island.

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