Nearly 500 Vermont officials to hold emergency exercise

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Almost 500 emergency responders from state and local agencies across Vermont will be participating in a three-day exercise designed to test their readiness to cope with disasters.

Vermont's fourth Catastrophic Exercise will be held from Wednesday through Friday.

It will simulate the aftermath of a major storm on the scale of Tropical Storm Irene and test the ability to restore critical infrastructure.

The exercise will involve 19 cities and towns and 20 state and volunteer agencies from around Vermont.

The first day of the exercise will include search and rescue crews looking for "survivors" in the field after storm damage and shoring up damaged buildings.

The exercise will also include solving short- and long-term recovery needs of people affected by the storm.

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