The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is leading a full-scale disaster exercise for emergency responders from various parts of the state starting today, Monday, September 23, and lasting until Thursday, September 26.
The exercise, taking place at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Jennings County, will simulate severe weather sweeping through a town in Indiana, including an EF3 tornado, damaging winds and heavy rainfall that results in localized flooding.
“These exercises are so important and one of the best ways Indiana’s emergency personnel can practice disaster plans and procedures,” said John Erickson of IDHS. “This intense week allows responders to learn from near real life experience that will help them better serve Hoosiers in a real-life event.”
Muscatatuck Urban Training Center is designed to reflect a realistic disaster setting and includes flooded homes, debris-littered streets, multiple buildings of many types and survivors in need of medical attention. The center allows all aspects of the response effort to be executed and evaluated without placing any lives at risk.
IDHS Districts 1, 3, 4, 8 and 9 will participate in the week-long exercise.
IDHS Districts 3 and 9 are sending District Response Task Forces. Districts 1, 4 and 8 are sending elements from their districts. District 1 is sending emergency medical services (EMS). District 4 is sending fire suppression, collapsed structure and K9 rescue. District 8 is sending fire and police.
Each IDHS district task force and element team is comprised of professional emergency responders who volunteer to support other emergency response agencies around the state.
Other agencies and organizations taking part in the exercise include the Indiana National Guard, the Indiana Building Emergency Assessment and Monitoring (I-BEAM) Team, the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, the Indiana State Department of Health, the Indiana State Police, Nature’s Way (animal emergency rescue), Indiana University Bloomington and students from the Indiana University School of Journalism at IUPUI, who will serve as mock media.