Montgomery County Plans Exercises As Silver Spring Explosion Nears Anniversary (VIDEO)

The tragic explosion at Flower Branch Apartments on August 10 last year is still prompting in-depth discussions and planning in Montgomery County. The agencies and employees involved continue to assess the response to the emergency in Silver Spring that killed seven people and left dozens of others injured and without homes.

Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security are putting new procedures and plans in place to improve coordination and distribution of assistance to victims during a catastrophic event. A joint exercise will bring agencies together in September to review changes made as a result of recommendations in an auditor’s report on the county’s response to last year’s explosion and fire.

Several government officials we interviewed  about the crisis say the county did a good job overall saving lives and helping survivors. They emphasized the importance of reviewing planning and procedures after every emergency to make improvements where necessary. The senior director of services at CASA de Maryland agreed with that assessment, but George Escobar also says the county needs more people who speak Spanish and other languages to assist during emergencies.

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Phyllis Armstrong

About Phyllis Armstrong

Phyllis Armstrong is a multimedia journalist with more than 30 years of experience in writing, reporting and broadcasting. She covered a wide range of news interests and issues as a general assignment reporter for WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C. from 1984 to 2009. Phyllis has continued to produce feature stories about local restaurants, culinary professionals and minority achievers for several online publications. Cooking, reading and Tai Chi are among are favorite things to do.


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