Power Outage Exercise
Would you know how to cope with a power outage that lasts 3 hours? Probably so, right? Not too big of a deal – you probably have enough battery on your iPad and phone to get you through half the day. Well, what if you were told the power outage would last 3 days… would you have the resources on-hand to cope with such an event? Not so easy anymore!
UCI staff recently exercised this exact scenario in an effort to ensure our campus community is prepared to face this challenge by continuing to improve our all-hazards strategies and resilience.
On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, staff from various UCI departments with official roles in emergency management response participated in the annual Emergency Operations Center (EOC) / Department Operations Center (DOC) Functional Exercise. This year, participants tackled an extended power outage scenario that aimed to test various planning objectives outlined in the latest revision of the Power Outage Annex of the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). These objectives included executing scenario-driven processes such as prioritizing generators for refueling, confirming generator refueling schedules and generator run-times, and discussing potential academic calendar impacts of such an event, as well implementing common EOC/DOC processes such as fulfilling resource requests, entering data into a critical information management system, and disseminating timely notifications for staff, faculty, and students.
The exercise commenced at 08:30 AM with the activation of the EOC, followed shortly with the activation of five DOCs that included Environmental Health & Safety and Risk Services, Facilities Management, Office of Information Technology, Housing Administrative Services, and Student Affairs. Participants relied on their previous training to address tough issues designed to be realistic, yet manageable, in order to continue to foster our no-fault learning environment. This year’s functional exercise also boasted some of the highest participation rates for our campus in recent years. The campus’ EOC alone had over 50 participants, including external partners from the Orange County Fire Authority.
Although no exercise or training is perfect, we hope to gather feedback from our participants to continue refining response processes, improving internal and external communications, strengthening relationships, and building better training and exercises.
Thanks to all those who made the exercise possible, including our exercise planning team and participants! Until next time!