In a simulated morning briefing Wednesday, officials laid out what New Haven was facing as part of a four-day disaster drill.
“We had a fuel farm fire at the Port in New Haven,” said Shannon Marquez from FEMA.
A fire at the fuel farm, a chlorine leak at a Yale pool, an ammonia leak at the Yale ice rink and an act of terrorism were all scenarios that are being played out this week to train first responders and members of the New Haven and Yale communities how to react when there is a large scale disaster or mass casualty event.
“It's all about communication. It's about making sure we have situational awareness,” said New Haven’s Emergency Management Director Rick Fontana.
The training is part of a $250,000 FEMA grant that Yale and New Haven jointly applied for after seeing the response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.
“Some of the lessons we learned there we thought were very important. As we came back, we said wow, what we really need to do is take a look at this for our community,” said Fontana.
Yale University had its own test when someone called in a hoax on campus last November. It's incorporating lessons learned during the hoax into this training.
“As part of our Yale alerts, it was built to communicate with Yale faculty, staff and students, we weren't communicating with our community. Now we can,” said Yale’s Director of Emergency Management Maria Bouffard.
However, this drill, created especially for New Haven, is taking it even further to find even better ways to respond to and be prepared for an emergency situation in New Haven.
“It eases the suffering of the Yale and New Haven communities and it helps us recover better,” said Bouffard.