Office of Homeland Security
STATEWIDE DISASTER PREPAREDNESS DRILL TO BE HELD NEXT WEEK

Press Release Date:  Friday, November 03, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jason Keller
502-564-2081

Barbara Fox
564-6786
 


FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) will coordinate a major statewide disaster preparedness exercise Nov. 8-9, involving several state and federal partners. The two-day drill is designed to test the state’s ability to order, receive and distribute medicines and supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) in the event of a statewide public health emergency. 

“This exercise is critical to ensuring our state’s preparedness in the event of any type of health emergency,” said William D. Hacker, M.D., commissioner for public health and acting undersecretary for health at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “By planning, preparing and practicing for disasters, we are taking significant steps to ensure a successful deployment of the SNS should the need arise for the stockpile to be deployed to Kentucky.” 

(Ret) Maj. Alecia Webb-Edgington, director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security added, “In order for us to ensure an effective response during an emergency, it is important that we practice our plans ahead of time. By testing our abilities to respond appropriately to a health crisis, we will be able to respond more effectively to all situations where the public’s safety could be compromised.” 

Simulated supplies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be received on the first day of the exercise by DPH officials at a designated location. The supplies will then be transported to points of dispensing (PODs) locations throughout the state, allowing local health departments to practice dispensing the simulated medications. The CDC will evaluate Kentucky's performance on the exercise. 

Media may visit the state Department for Public Health’s Operations Center during the afternoon of November 8 for interview opportunities.  

The federal government initially established the CDC’s SNS program in 1999 to assist states and communities in responding to public health emergencies, including those resulting from terrorist attacks and natural disasters. The SNS program can deploy medicines, antidotes, medical supplies and medical equipment to any U.S. location within 12 hours. Each state has plans to receive and distribute SNS medicine and medical supplies to local communities as quickly as possible.  

State and federal agencies participating in the exercise with KOHS and DPH include: Kentucky Army and Air National Guard; Kentucky Division of Emergency Management; Kentucky Transportation Cabinet; Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet; State Fire Commission; local law enforcement and emergency management agencies; the CDC; and the U.S. Marshals Service. 

More information on the Strategic National Stockpile program is available at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/stockpile/ 

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The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security has been charged by Governor Fletcher to lead the Commonwealth's coordination and collaboration efforts with public and private preparedness partners to ensure Kentucky is Ready and Prepared. For more information about homeland security in Kentucky, please visit www.homelandsecurity.ky.gov