Members of the Wisconsin National Guard will be going door-to-door in the city of Omro, Wisconsin on May 16 to help ensure area residents are prepared for a potential disaster.
The preparedness checks are part of an exercise known as “Dark Sky,” which is a simulation of a long-term mass power outage in Wisconsin. It is designed to test the response capabilities of private utilities, law enforcement, first responders and the National Guard. The exercise will run May 15-17 in Brown, Dane, Fond du Lac, Milwaukee, Outagamie and Winnebago counties. It is a simulation, and no actual power outages associated with the training are planned.
During the afternoon of May 16, teams of Guardsmen in uniform will canvas homes in Omro to conduct a voluntary survey. They will ask residents who agree to participate a series of non-intrusive questions about disaster preparedness, such as whether their home has a working smoke detector. They will also distribute information packets designed to help citizens plan for an emergency. They will not be entering homes.
If Omro residents would prefer that National Guard members not knock on their door during the training, exercise officials have created an opt-out list. If residents would like their address to be on the list of excluded homes, please call 2-1-1. They do not need to provide a reason for opting out and names will not be collected. Residents who wish to opt out should contact 2-1-1 by May 9.
While those opting out will not have their door knocked on during the day of the exercise, Guardsmen will still leave information packets on their doorstep. If residents would still like to complete the preparedness survey at a later date, they may call 2-1-1 following the exercise.
The goal of the exercise is to practice the welfare checks the National Guard may conduct in the event of a real emergency. It’s also an opportunity to inform the public about the importance of planning ahead for a disaster by making an emergency supply kit for their home and developing a plan with their family. For more information about how to plan for a disaster, visit http://readywisconsin.wi.gov.