MADISON COUNTY, Ky. – September is National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme is A Lasting Legacy. Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and county emergency management agencies will conduct the annual Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) exercise on Sept. 14 while following COVID-19 safety protocols. This exercise allows first responders and emergency managers to test their emergency plans.
“Our annual county-wide CSEPP exercise is a great opportunity for our team to test our skills, training, and capabilities of responding to an event at the Blue Grass Army Depot,” said Reagan Taylor, Madison County Judge/Executive. “The way you are best prepared is to practice, and while our EMA team and first responders are always prepared for a situation, acting out each step of an emergency scenario ensures we are prepared should a real event occur. It also allows us to receive an outside evaluation from industry experts so we can continue to improve our response and make sure Madison County is as safe as possible.”
The CSEPP exercise is a valuable tool for communities to work together and coordinate responses to a chemical event. Emergency personnel and community volunteers within the 10-county area surrounding BGAD will participate in this year’s exercise, putting their emergency response plans to the test.
“BGCA is proud to join with our partners in the CSEPP community to conduct this year’s exercise,” Lt. Col. Tyler McKee, BGCA commander. “Throughout the year, BGCA practices responding to a chemical event, however, this larger scale exercise allows us to work with folks from the ten surrounding CSEPP counties, the Kentucky Department of Emergency Management, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The external perspective and feedback we receive from the evaluators, all of whom are professionals in emergency response, provides valuable insight and ensures we are equipped to effectively respond to and mitigate the effects of a chemical event.”
Effective communication with potentially affected communities is a key focus of CSEPP emergency response plans. Participating CSEPP counties will test the communication networks during the exercise. Sirens located in and around BGAD and indoor Advisor Alert Radios will be activated in test mode.
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, Powell, Jackson, and Rockcastle counties.