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Kentucky prepares for a major earthquake

National level exercise will take place Monday, May 16, 2011

News from Kentucky Emergency Management

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 13, 2011) - On Monday, May 16, 2011, Kentucky and several Central U.S. states, along with federal government agencies, volunteerorganizations and the private sector will begin a weeklong preparednessexercise based upon a catastrophic earthquake in the New Madrid EarthquakeZone, which is located in the heart of the United States.

The National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE 11) is part of the National ExerciseProgram (NEP). The NEP provides the opportunity to practice existingcapabilities to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from majordisasters, man-made or natural, and other emergencies in an integratedfashion. Participation includes Federal to the State agencies, military,local governments, private sector, volunteer organizations, private citizensand the President of the United States.

NLE 11 exercise will practice initial incident response and recoverycapabilities, and test and validate existing plans, policies and procedures,including the Federal Interagency Response Plan - Earthquake (FIRP-EQ 2011)and State and regional New Madrid catastrophic plans.

"Is Kentucky ready for a 7.7 earthquake? No. Are we more prepared than weonce were? Absolutely," said John Heltzel, director for Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM). "Welearn something with each event or disaster, such as the historic floodingKentucky just experienced. The trick is to take lessons learned and turnthem into lessons applied. This is the overarching objective of thissignature exercise."

While the exercise is designed to assess response and recovery capabili-tiesboth nationally and regionally, Kentucky will use the exercise to update andrewrite the Commonwealth Earthquake Response Plan.

The NLE 2011 is expected to be the largest joint exercise in United States'history, and for the first time it is being based on a natural threat.Everyone from private citizens, businesses, military, all private sectors andcenters of government are invited to participate and exercise their ownearthquake preparations.

The NLE 2011 will include activities with local responders, federal and stateemergency management officials, private sector partners at multiple venuesaround the region, as well as in Washington D.C. and various FEMA regionaloffices. Private citizens who complete daily participation will be sent alink to a downloadable KYEM NLE 2011 Certificate of Participation recognizingtheir individual efforts to better protect and prepare themselves and familyin the event of a catastrophic disaster.

For more information on the NLE 2011, scheduled daily participation links andto register as a participant, visit . You will also find external information,related social media sites and links to Kentucky's Earthquake PreparednessProgram.

This story was posted on 2011-05-14 14:00:53
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