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Saturday, February 27th, 2021

FEMA to hold earthquake response exercise in multi-state region

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A multi-state operational exercise on how to respond to a 7.7 magnitude earthquake near Memphis will feature the participation of federal, local and international authorities, including the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Shaken Fury 2019 earthquake response exercise has the goal of improving the region’s ability to respond and recover from emergencies, either natural or man-made. The S&T will partner with federal, state, local, and international stakeholders to test technologies in both information sharing and urban search and rescue.

“This exercise gives us a great opportunity to get diverse and unique perspectives from federal, state and local agencies, vendors, and first responders on our suite of technologies,” William Bryan, senior official performing the duties of the undersecretary for Science and Technology, said. “Their perspectives help us shape and adapt our solutions to ensure that users who need it most know how to operate it and act quickly when an emergency happens. Some emergencies, like earthquakes, come with little-to-no warning, so being able to plan with multiple organizations is important to building a prepared and resilient nation,” “We are excited to collaborate with FEMA and so many others to execute a shared vision and blueprint of what it looks like to build a community that can withstand any disaster.”

Shaken Fury testing and activities will take place in the Kentucky Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort and the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville, Ind.

“Being able to have end users test the technologies in a simulated disaster setting helps ensure the emergency management community is ready to use them when a disaster strikes,” Ron Langhelm, DHS S&T program manager, said. “Another great part is first responders, state and local governments, and emergency managers across the nation will hear about solutions that can work in their region too. We hope to create a snowball effect where more and more people will want these technologies because they fit their unique needs and fill gaps to enhance safety for everyone.”

The exercise will take place from June 3 -7.