Mock Disaster Exercise in Pueblo

Nearly one thousand people from local, state and federal agencies will be participating in a community exercise to test emergency response capabilities in Pueblo County and at Colorado's Multi-Agency Coordination Center located in Centennial, Colorado today.

The exercise will test capabilities of fire, hazardous materials teams, law enforcement, schools, emergency medical, victims assistance, health and environmental, area non-profit, emergency
management and other agencies, as well as local officials.

This federally managed and evaluated exercise is sponsored by the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP).

They test plans, procedures and resources; allowing the community to better prepare for a wide range of events," said Steve Douglas, Director of Pueblo County Department of Emergency

This exercise tests local, state and federal agencies as they work together to respond to two simulated and unrelated events in Pueblo.

The CSEPP event occurs at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot and is testing notification procedures, communications, emergency public information and emergency response capabilities.

The other event occurs at Pueblo West High School and tests fire,
hazardous materials, law enforcement, emergency medical and victim assistance response, as well as overall incident command capabilities.

As a notification to area residents the drill will utilize Pueblo County's Reverse 911 system.

To avoid traffic congestion near Pueblo West High School, traffic
control points will be set at the intersections of Capistrano and Spaulding, Capistrano and Clenaga and Clenaga and Espanola.

In addition, electronic signboards will be used for traffic control.

The event will have a minimal impact on the public, but all traffic in the area of Capistrano should expect detours and delays in the morning and residents are asked to avoid the area of Pueblo West High School.

Homes and businesses in the immediate area will receive an emergency message via reverse 911, the morning of the event reminding them of the drill and asking them to detour around certain areas to minimize traffic delays.