FEMA Exercise Puts Northfield Township First Responders to the Test

Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:31pm EST

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Allstate Insurance hosts national training initiative


NORTHBROOK, Ill.,  Feb. 28, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- The Northfield Township Road
District brought together first responders from the villages of  Northbrook, 
Northfield  and  Glenview, along with the Cook County Department of Homeland
Security and Emergency Management, to participate jointly in a Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) Virtual Tabletop Exercise.

The exercise was hosted by Allstate Insurance Company as part of its ongoing
efforts to establish and strengthen collaborative public-private partnerships in
disaster response and recovery. The simulation allowed  Northfield Township's
local jurisdictions to gather together and discuss collectively how they would
manage the emergency as presented.

"Allstate was pleased to partner with first responders in our community and host
this event," said  Brandi Landreth, director of facilities, security and BCPfor
Allstate. "Planning and preparation before a crisis strikes can have a
substantial effect in improving response and mitigating damage during an event."

Northfield Township Road District's application on behalf of the participating
local jurisdictions was part of a competitive selection process by FEMA's
training arm, the Emergency Management Institute. The Road District's
application was one of just 10 sites selected from more than 60 applications
nationally to participate in today's exercise.   Northfield Township's combined
application was selected as a host site "due in large part to the
multi-jurisdictional approach," said training specialist  Todd Wheeler  of the
Emergency Management Institute.  

"Communication, coordination, and collaboration are the keys to a successful
response and recovery from a disaster situation," Wheeler said. "Participation
across boundaries as well as up the ladder at the county level and reaching
across to the private sector demonstrates that the response organizations in
local government in this area already have a big head start. We don't always see
that."

The table top exercise focused on a weather disaster, the scenario being that a
tornado struck portions of  Northfield Township,  Glenview,  Northfield  and 
Northbrook. Teams were charged with initiating their responses to injuries,
power outages, damaged homes and businesses, blocked streets, and media
inquiries, all while coordinating their efforts with other agencies and
non-governmental bodies like the American Red Cross.   

The event gave participants an opportunity to assess and improve their
preparedness, response and recovery plans, which is the core intent of Emergency
Management Institute exercises. By allowing first responders to match their
plans against a detailed exercise scenario, participants were able to evaluate
the key challenges posed by the scenario, and they could then share their
outcomes and observations with EMI facilitators who would bring that new
information back to the Institute.  

Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Executive
Director  Michael Masters  said, "Under the leadership of President  Toni
Preckwinkle,  Cook County  is working to ensure that we are prepared for all
incidents, whether man-made or natural. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Events such as this - which bring together stakeholders from the public and
private sectors, at all levels - place us in a better position to ensure that we
do not fail.  We commend this effort, and appreciate the opportunity to
participate."

The exercise was just one step in an ongoing process for  Northfield Township's
jurisdictions to work collectively together to raise the area's level of
preparedness and improve its capabilities to respond and recover from a local or
regional catastrophic event.

The Allstate Corporation  (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held
personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its
Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate
Financial business segment. Allstate branded insurance products (auto, home,
life and retirement) and services are offered through Allstate agencies,
independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well
as via  www.allstate.com,  www.allstate.com/financial  and 1-800 Allstate®, and
are widely known through the slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®." As
part of  Allstate's commitment  to strengthen local communities, The Allstate
Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided  $29
million  in 2012 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes
across  the United States.





SOURCE  The Allstate Corporation


Laura Strykowski, Allstate, +1-847-402-5600, laura.strykowski@allstate.com, or
Robert E. Dunne, Northfield Township Road District, +1-847-724-7055,
rdunne@northfieldtownship.com

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