The annual Storm Day training conducted by the Ventura Public Works Agency took place on November 1 to prepare for a major disaster in Ventura County. The eighth annual Storm Day training was conducted at two sites, one in Ventura: The Dent Basin and in Simi Valley at Las Liajas Dam.
More than 200 personnel from Ventura County Public Works Agency departments participated in the event. Exercises were designed to simulate the effects of and earthquake and severe storm to two of the counties 56 dams. Karl Novak, Deputy Director of the Watershed Protection District led the efforts at Dent Basin. “Practice makes perfect.” He said.
The drills were aimed at coordinating and practicing to quickly shore up and limit water leaking from an effected dam. Using a technique of sandbag configurations called boils to constrain leaks and use of large tarps to stop any seepage or leaks.
The scenario allowed officials to gauge the effectiveness of county crews, and first responders to a real emergency. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, along with VCPWA activated several sites including its emergency Field Operations Centers.
Specific goals of the exercise were test the involved agencies emergency response plans and evaluating the effectiveness of inter-agency procedures. The drill was designed to uncover areas needing improvement in emergency response plans.