FEMA in town to prepare for Cape Coral disaster training exercise

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CAPE CORAL, Fla.- This week, FEMA will be in Cape Coral working with Emergency Management staff as part of FEMA’s Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC).

This visit is in preparation for a week-long training exercise that will take place in Cape Coral in August. FEMA will utilize information gathered during this visit to build an exercise specifically designed for Cape Coral and Southwest Florida.

Cape Coral applied for the program and was awarded the training opportunity as one of 18 cities selected. More than 40 applied and this comes at no cost to the city. FEMA says it chose Cape Coral because of the city’s size, good relationships with neighboring communities, and because it has been such a long time since the area saw a major hurricane hit.

Throughout the week, FEMA will be visiting various critical sites and businesses to understand the culture and makeup of the community. Information gathered during this visit will better prepare the city to mitigate the effects of a disaster, such as a tropical event. Two representatives from FEMA are here for the week, and will return with about 14 more in August. They’ll conduct a training exercise based on an event like Hurricane Wilma, making a direct hit on Cape Coral. About 75 people in Southwest Florida will be involved in the training session.

They will also be conducting a flyover tour of the city in a Lee County Sheriff’s helicopter. Photos taken during the flyover can be used to assist city officials following a disaster.

On Tuesday, FEMA officials will be meeting with Mayor Marni Sawicki and key staff.

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