Annual emergency preparedness exercise upcoming at Blue Grass Army Depot

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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – September is National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme is Prepare to Protect. Blue Grass Army Depot, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and county emergency management agencies will conduct the annual Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) exercise on Sept. 15 while following COVID-19 safety protocols.

This exercise allows first responders and emergency managers to test their emergency plans. Emergency personnel and community volunteers within the 10-county area surrounding the Blue Grass Army Depot will participate in this year’s exercise, putting their emergency response plans to the test.

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“We once again will be testing our skills, training, and capabilities of responding to a mock incident at the Blue Grass Army Depot,” said Dustin Heiser, Madison County emergency management director. “This allows us to receive an outside view of future refinements.”

“BGCA is not only committed to the safe and secure storage and support to transportation of our chemical weapons stockpile,” said Lt. Col. Edward Williams, BGCA commander. “Throughout the year we routinely conduct small scale emergency response exercises with our community partners. The annual CSEPP exercise allows us and our partners to walk through the entire process on a larger scale and gain feedback from professionals in the emergency management community.”

Effective communication with potentially affected communities is a key focus of CSEPP emergency response plans. CSEPP counties will test the communication networks they have developed during the exercise. Sirens located in and around Blue Grass Army Depot and indoor Advisor Alert Radios will be activated in test mode. Wireless Emergency Alert exercise messages will be sent to cellular phones in the area.

Ensuring residents know what to do in the event of a chemical accident—whether occurring on a railway, interstate, highway, factory, or the Depot– has been a focus for CSEPP.

For more information about CSEPP and what residents can do to prepare for an emergency event, visit www.prepareKY.com. Follow on social media to learn more about how community emergency management personnel prepare for an event in Madison, Fayette, Estill, Clark, Garrard, Jessamine, Laurel and Rockcastle counties.