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 following COVID-19 safety protocols. This exercise allows first responders and emergency managers to test their emergency plans. Lexington Emergency Management and the other nine counties in the CSEPP region will participate in the exercise with limited activity.
“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.”
The CSEPP exercise is a valuable tool for communities to work together and coordinate response to an incident. 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.
“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. In addition, Wireless Emergency Alert exercise messages will be sent to cellular phones in the area.