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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2007
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Sirens could be part of mock disaster

Many of the emergency sirens you’ll hear Wednesday after 9 a.m. will be part of an exercise to test the community’s disaster response capability.

The mock disaster organized by the Emergency Management Agency will occur at the Morgan County Fairgrounds.

Emergency personnel and support agencies are aware they are participating in a drill, but they don’t know what type of disaster will occur, so they can’t rehearse for it.

“It will be a situation for an event that could happen,” said Johnny Cantrell, EMA planning and operations coordinator. “They’re going to have to react on the fly as they would in a real situation.”

The goal of the exercise is to expose areas to improve response time and effectiveness, he said. The exercise is part of a federal initiative called the Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program. It will involve law enforcement, fire and emergency medical personnel as well as local volunteers and the American Red Cross. About 170 people: actors, controllers and evaluators, will participate.

Paul Huggins

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