Annual emergency drill carried out in Providence

Sirens wailed around the city of Providence on Wednesday morning, but it was only a drill.

Emergency crews used the practice to prepare for future disasters, be it a hurricane, a massive fire or an attack on the city.

"We're exercising our emergency response plan," said Michael Dillon of the Providence Fire Department.

Police, fire and the Providence Emergency Management Agency have run the drill every year since 2005.

"One of the things we need to do is institute public protection measures," Dillon said, speaking at the Port of Providence.

First responders run through the steps they'd need to take in the event of a disaster.

"It could happen any time to anybody," said business owner David Campbell.

Campbell owns the Cumberland Farms on Allens Avenue. He was one of several participants to evacuate his building Wednesday.

"We have rules in place and laws in place that we should all follow," Campbell said.

When the siren sounded, people evacuated and headed to a check-in point so crews could account for everyone.

"It's not just a city responsibility but those businesses in the port -- they really have to be a part of the solution," said Peter Gaynor, director of the PEMA.

Wednesday's drill received high praise from all departments.

"Today, it all worked perfectly," Gaynor said.

Giving them hope that practice will make perfect when it matters most.