MILFORD - Milford and its surrounding communities started preparing Thursday for the event of a category 2 hurricane.

A hurricane exercise preparedness drill was held at Milford Hospital, where officials discussed how to prepare for a hurricane. Officials are doing more now to prepare for such a storm after Hurricane Gloria hit southwestern Connecticut in September 1985. Hurricane Gloria, a category 1 storm, devastated parts of the area by knocking out power and leaving many without electricity for up to one week.

The plan includes Milford, Woodbridge, Orange, Stratford and West Haven working together to test interoperability of what would happen in one or more communities, and to provide mutual aid. Milford mayor Jim Richetelli says rehearsing these exercises is vitally important. ?We have all these plans, but we're only as good as the knowledge of those plans, and as good as we practice those plans.?

Milford Hospital's Allen Flynn is part of the emergency management team. Flynn says Milford Hospital would be put on alert the moment the hurricane reaches within 72 miles of the city. ?We go through a facility harding phase and we're ready and we plan for these things all the time.?