EKU to hold voluntary disaster exercise in April

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RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ)- EKU says there will be a voluntary disaster exercise in two months, on Wednesday April 17th, at 12:20PM, focusing on a community-wide chemical release.

Every year, the Madison County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) / Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) conducts a community-wide disaster exercise. This community-wide exercise is evaluated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and it is meant to test emergency response and evacuation protocols within and around Madison County. In the past, Eastern Kentucky University participated, in a limited capacity in this exercise, in a manner that normally does not affect the typical operations of the University. We would like to continue to expand our participation, by encouraging everyone, who is able and willing, to voluntarily participate in an EKU specific University Exercise on April 17th.

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You can be more involved by either pausing and reviewing your building emergency action plans located at https://emergency.eku.edu/building-emergency-action-plans  or by moving to one of our enhanced shelter-in-place buildings (see below for more information). Taking a moment to review your individual building emergency action plan (either alone, with your class, or with fellow peers) will help you be better prepared to react and respond to various emergencies. Individuals within the enhanced shelter-in-place buildings will activate their systems and practice their plans (there will be no operational impact to any of these buildings during the exercises). You may see signage being placed and various classes and employees actively participating. You are welcome to join in and become familiar with the process of moving to a building and seeing first-hand how our systems operate as designed and installed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program is a joint venture between the United States Army and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist state and local governments to improve emergency planning and preparedness in communities near chemical weapons storage sites. The Blue Grass Army Depot, in Madison County Kentucky, stores approximately 2% of the nation’s original chemical weapons stockpile. The type of chemical agents stored there are GB (sarin, a nerve agent), VX (another nerve agent), and Mustard (a blister agent). CSEPP communities have been recognized nationally for their abilities to respond to emergencies of all kinds. A chemical weapons destruction facility has been constructed, and with demilitarization operations estimated to begin by mid-2019, we believe greater participation in these exercises is warranted through the end of the chemical demilitarization process, which is anticipated to take about 3 years to complete, once destruction begins.

The EKU specific University Exercise is scheduled to take place in conjunction with the Monthly Emergency Notification Systems Test on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019, at 12:20PM. The exercise will begin with a test of the outdoor warning siren, and the indoor advisor alert radio, systems. Westminster Chimes, rather than the chemical alternating high/low wailing siren, will be used to start the exercise. If you are able to participate, you can begin your exercise play when you hear the sirens or when you receive the Public Safety Test/Exercise Alerts.

When this exercise begins, please encourage your students, faculty, and staff to participate by following the instructions given by our Division of Public Safety, through Rave, our primary mass notification system.

If you are able to participate, you will be given instructions to move to any one of our Enhanced Shelter-In-Place (ESIP) Buildings. These include:

Alumni Coliseum

 

Combs Building

 

Perkins Building

 

University Building

 

Whitlock Building

 

Model Gymnasium (Note: Model Gym is reserved for the Model population’s use during all exercises)

Click below for an infographic about chemical incidents:

https://emergency.eku.edu/sites/emergency.eku.edu/files/chemical_incident_infographic.pdf

Follow this link for a map showing the ESIP Buildings:

https://emergency.eku.edu/sites/emergency.eku.edu/files/eku_esip_building_map_color.pdf

More information can be found at:

http://emergency.eku.edu/hazardous-materials-csepp-chemical-stockpile-emergency-preparedness-program