Boston, MA - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and emergency management teams from six New England States are participating in Operation Yankee this week, one of the largest disaster preparedness exercises ever held in New England. The two-day exercise, which started on August 6 at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, is designed to enhance and develop federal, state and tribal response, coordination and preparedness for both a natural and man-made disaster.
"The exercise will allow us to work multiple simulated events so that we can improve our coordination and preparedness on a regional scale," said Daniel A. Craig, regional director for FEMA Region I. "Many disaster events in New England affect multiple states, and this exercise will be a great opportunity to work closely with our federal, state and tribal partners in the region to improve our response plan."
The exercise will focus on the impending landfall of a category four hurricane along the New England coast. In addition there will be a simultaneous bio-terrorism event in the region. The exercise will play out the first two days of the incident. In subsequent years, the exercise will be continued to further play out the disaster scenario.
"Operation Yankee has been planned for more than a year, and with forecasts for an active hurricane season and the ever present threat of a terrorist event, this exercise couldn't be happening at a better time for our region," said Craig.
The exercise will include emergency management teams from the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. In future years the exercise will expand to include New York, New Jersey and the Eastern Canadian Provinces.