September is National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme is Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.
Blue Grass Army Depot, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and county emergency management agencies will conduct the annual Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) exercise on Sept. 19. This exercise allows first responders, emergency managers, medical providers
“There is tremendous planning and training that our staff performs each year to ensure Madison County is prepared for a chemical stockpile emergency at the Depot,” said Michael Bryant, Madison County deputy emergency management director and CSEPP administrative director. “Just like we ask our residents to prepare for emergencies, the annual CSEPP exercise is our way of ensuring we are prepared.”
“Madison County is definitely not alone in participation,” added Dustin Heiser, Madison County deputy emergency management director and CSEPP operations director. “This is a day when the first responder agencies across the ten CSEPP counties test their capabilities to respond to an emergency.”
The CSEPP exercise is a valuable tool for communities to work together and coordinate response to an incident. Emergency personnel and community volunteers within the 10-county area surrounding the Blue Grass Army Depot will participate in this year’s exercise, putting their emergency response plans to the test.
“While we are committed to the safe and secure storage of the chemical stockpile at the Blue Grass Army Depot, it is critically important that we conduct drills and exercises throughout the year with our community partners, to ensure our plans and procedures are coordinated,” said Lt. Col. Rodney D. McCutcheon, Blue Grass Chemical Activity commander. “The annual CSEPP exercise supports our readiness priority by ensuring communities are trained and equipped to respond in emergency situations.”
Effective communication with potentially affected communities is a key focus of CSEPP emergency response plans. CSEPP counties will test the communication networks they have developed during the exercise. Sirens located in and around Blue Grass Army Depot and indoor Advisor Alert Radios will be activated.
Ensuring residents know what to do in the event of a chemical accident at the Depot has been a focus for CSEPP. Recent outreach campaigns on radio, video, print, and social media have emphasized the importance of being prepared for emergencies.
For more information about CSEPP and what residents can do to prepare for an emergency event, visit www.prepareKY.com. Follow on social media to learn more about how community emergency management personnel prepare for an event in Madison, Fayette, Estill, Clark, Garrard, Jessamine, Laurel and Rockcastle counties.