Guam- Guam Homeland Security and the Office of Civil Defense have partnered with various Government of Guam agencies, the Department of Defense (DOD), FEMA and other officials to conduct the annual Typhoon Pakyo Exercise.
The National Weather Service started off the exercise yesterday [Monday] with a heavy weather briefing. Spokeswoman Alyssa Benito says they continued Tuesday with a functional exercise that tests the plans and procedures of local and federal first responders before the landfall of a monster typhoon.
She says they are looking for any shortfalls and gaps within the exercise.
“There’s two parts to this exercise,” said Benito. “The first part is to test our COOP plan. Our Continuity Of Operating Plans. The second part of this is it’s because it’s a requirement in our grant. So testing people in the Emergency Operations Center in how to respond to a typhoon is what we’re trying to do.”
Homeland Security Advisor Ambrosio Constantino Jr. also says their Unified Coordination Group (UCG) sets up objectives in preparing for the worst case scenario of a typhoon that hits Guam and the CNMI with wind speeds of 160 mph with gusts of 205 mph.
“The federal government as well as the DCO, the Defense Coordinating Officer, they’re looking at not just Guam, but they’re also looking at if it hits Guam, then what about the effects of CNMI, Rota and Tinian,” said Constantino. “So they’re also looking at from that perspective, other areas as well.”
Benito adds it’s especially important the exercise play out annually because Guam hasn’t experienced a typhoon in over a decade and any training they receive will benefit the community in the long run.
“I think it’s extremely important to continue an exercise because we haven’t got hit by a typhoon in over a decade,” said Benito. “So whenever there’s workshops or trainings, it’ll only help us better prepare for a real incident.”
The exercise will end tomorrow with a discussion based tabletop exercise and a hot wash. Joint Region Marianas will continue with the exercise until Friday and sirens will be used on DOD installations. The public is advised not to panic.