NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) - Rhode Island emergency responders are taking part in a week-long exercise to make sure the state is prepared for hurricanes or other natural disasters.
Tuesday marked the second day of a five-day federally-funded disaster drill known as Operation Vigilant Guard.
During exercises at the Quonset Air National Guard base, the state's emergency leaders discussed lessons learned from last year's brush with Tropical Storm Irene, and talked about the problems Rhode Island could have faced if Irene made landfall in Rhode Island as a powerful hurricane.
"We would have exhausted our resources and we would've needed to rely on not only the Guard, but also our federal partners and our neighboring states," explained Theresa Murray, executive director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.
That is why responders will take part in a drill simulating a Category 3 hurricane similar to the Hurricane of '38 and stronger than Hurricane Irene. The goal is to improve communication and partnership between the National Guard, active duty military forces, state and federal Emergency Management Agencies, and local first responders.
"When the emergency comes, we already know what we're doing and we're doing it as effectively as possible," says Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts. "On top of that, we're going to have all the stresses of things happening outside our control."
The Operation Vigilant Disaster exercises will continue through Friday.
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