FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2014

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461


KDHE to Participate in Large-Scale Disaster Exercise with
Kansas National Guard and other State Agencies

TOPEKA, Kan. - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will join with the Kansas National Guard, Kansas Division of Emergency Management and other state and federal entities to practice responding to a large-scale disaster on August 4 and 5.

Kansas will be the host state for Vigilant Guard 2014, a large-scale, multi-state disaster response exercise sponsored by U.S. Northern Command and the National Guard Bureau that tests the capabilities of emergency response agencies at all levels of government. KDHE will be practicing with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff and supplies to maintain proficiency on incident management, public information, and resource management skills. As part of the exercise, KDHE will receive a training package from the CDC that represents over 50 tons of medical supplies that could be available to the state in the event of a catastrophic emergency. These supplies are then managed by KDHE staff and provided to health departments and hospitals in the disaster area to fill their resource gaps.

“This exercise will help KDHE with our continual preparation to respond to disasters in Kansas,” said Dr. Robert Moser, Secretary of KDHE. “It is our job to protect the health and environment of Kansans, and that job becomes particularly critical in times of disaster.” As part of a five year cooperative agreement with HHS and CDC for health preparedness, KDHE must demonstrate a wide variety of health and medical capabilities to reduce a disaster’s impact on the state. Demonstrating these capabilities alongside and in partnership with our response partners helps everyone resolve potential problems and improve our abilities.

"Vigilant Guard gives us the opportunity to test our emergency response plans and capabilities, and to practice integrating the response efforts of civilian agencies and the National Guard, as well as to incorporate help from other states and also federal entities," said Kansas Adjutant General Lee Tafanelli.

The Vigilant Guard exercise will simulate multiple, large-scale disasters hitting Kansas at one time. These disasters may include natural disasters, such as tornados, flooding, fires and may also include other disaster events such as bioterrorism. 

For information about how to prepare your family before disaster hits visit www.ksready.gov