DHS Joins States in Regional Emergency Preparedness Exercise

On June 3-7, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will participate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Shaken Fury 2019 exercise. The multi-state operational exercise will simulate regional response and recovery to a 7.7 magnitude earthquake near Memphis, Tennessee. DHS S&T will partner with federal, state, local, and international stakeholders to test technologies and innovative methodologies in three primary areas: information sharing between federal, state and local agencies; urban search and rescue; and information sharing between Department of Defense (DOD) and civil authorities, and technology enablers.

DHS S&T has been working with planners and practitioners for 18 months to prepare for its role in the exercise. The goal of Shaken Fury is to improve the region’s collective capacity to respond and recover from emergencies either natural or man-made. DHS S&T’s role is to introduce innovative solutions, technologies and tools that will enhance overall resilience.

In addition to collaborating with FEMA, DHS S&T is working closely with the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), DoD, state and local emergency management agencies, and 12 urban search and rescue teams from the U.S., Canada and Australia.

“This exercise gives us a great opportunity to get diverse and unique perspectives from federal, state and local agencies, vendors, and first responders on our suite of technologies,” said William N. Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “Their perspectives help us shape and adapt our solutions to ensure that users who need it most know how to operate it and act quickly when an emergency happens.”

Bryan continued: “Some emergencies, like earthquakes, come with little-to-no warning, so being able to plan with multiple organizations is important to building a prepared and resilient nation,” “We are excited to collaborate with FEMA and so many others to execute a shared vision and blueprint of what it looks like to build a community that can withstand any disaster.”

DHS S&T’s primary Shaken Fury testing and activities will take place in two locations: the Kentucky Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort and the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville, Indiana. Technologies to be assessed during the week include FINDER and Autonomous Platforms for Search and Rescue, as well as the DHS S&T-supported CUSEC Regional Information Sharing Portal and FEMA Web Emergency Operations Center (WebEOC).

“Being able to have end users test the technologies in a simulated disaster setting helps ensure the emergency management community is ready to use them when a disaster strikes,” said Ron Langhelm, DHS S&T Program Manager. “Another great part is first responders, state and local governments, and emergency managers across the nation will hear about solutions that can work in their region too. We hope to create a snowball effect where more and more people will want these technologies because they fit their unique needs and fill gaps to enhance safety for everyone.”

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