Volunteers and a mobile feeding unit from the National Capital Area Command were deployed to the annual Virginia Emergency Support Team Exercise (VESTEX) in Stafford County, Virginia, yesterday. According to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the exercise is intended to prepare the Commonwealth of Virginia for potential threats by measuring current capabilities, policies, and procedures against the requirement to properly mitigate, respond to, and recover from man-made and natural disasters.
Sponsored by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FEMA Region III, FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI), and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), the annual statewide drill simulates a response to a large-scale disaster. The drill included the participation of local governments, affected state agencies, public utilities, law-enforcement agencies, and other entities as determined by the Governor.
The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services canteen and a team of volunteers served breakfast and lunch during the full scale VESTEX exercise. The team was led by The Salvation Army Fairfax Va. Corps officer Major Donald Wilson and The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division’s new Emergency Disaster Director John Conklin, who were onsite for the Stafford County emergency management exercise.
According to the 2017 report, the exercise seeks to capture areas of strength and improvement that will be used to improve state, local, and regional response plans, policies, and procedures and develop future training and exercise efforts in Virginia.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.