SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – September is National Disaster Preparedness month and Woodbury County along with several different agencies are performing an emergency drill.
The hazmat scenario is designed to help prepare first responders in Siouxland and surrounding areas for emergencies.
Over eight different agencies from around Iowa joined Woodbury County for the yearly emergency drill that was hosted at the Security Institute on Western Iowa Tech Community College campus.
“It is extremely important we practice these scenarios because sometimes it could possibly happen,” said Rebecca Socknat, the coordinator at Woodbury County Emergency Management.
This year’s scenario, called Stable Mercury III, for the exercise was created by Iowa’s Natural Guard.
“We wanted to make sure that they were exercising all of their communication, their outreach to the state resources, to the national guard, and communicating with other states as needed,” said Col. Rodney Chitty with the Iowa National Guard.
The storyline for the drill involves an airplane that had crashed into a chemical facility in Woodbury County.
“This is a nonspecific type of facility or a nonspecific chemical it can happen anywhere and it can involve any type of situation. It’s more of communication drill practicing plans and communicating with one another,” said Captin Ryan Collins with the Sioux City Fire Rescue.
The yearly drill helps each group of responders know who they will need to contact and work with during a disaster.
“Putting a face to face on the individual in the community who may be called in to assist,” said Collins.
“Working locally with some of the private industries in the county all the way up to the federal agencies gives us that opportunity without the stress of the event actually going on,” said Socknat.
The drill will continue on into Thursday where each group will sit down to evaluate how they responded to the scenario and learn how they can improve moving forward.