INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — This week agencies from more than 28 states are practicing for a large scale emergency in Indianapolis. The exercise, Vibrant Response 2014, is the largest exercise ever conducted in North America. Local, state and federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security are simulating their response to a nuclear bomb hitting Speedway.
Officials are acting through every scenario they would encounter should a nuclear bomb ever hit Indianapolis.
“Every incident, every emergency, every weather emergency, fire, every bombing and terrorist attack is local. It would start at the local level, in this case in Marion county. In a situation like this, we would expect them to turn to the state very quickly. We would then turn to our federal assets very quickly,” said John Erickson with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
If a bomb were to hit Indianapolis, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security said citizens should seek shelter immediately. The most important thing to do in the first few minutes is to stay inside.
“Get into a home, get in a business, where ever you’re at. Don’t travel. Get into a school, get as many walls as possible between you and the outside,” said Erickson.
Officials then start monitoring radiation levels, coordinating communication, and developing plans to get citizens to a safe location where they can seek treatment. Erickson said the exercise has been very beneficial so far.
“I’d like to say it’s worked flawlessly, but there are always going to be hurdles to overcome. The goal is to find out where we need to meld processes better and how we can work together better,” said Erickson.
Christopher Royce with the Environmental Protection Agency said training exercises like Vibrant Response 2014 are opportunities for state and federal agencies to work together, that prove valuable in real-life emergencies.
“The quicker that we can get together and work together, getting services back to the community and getting everyone back to their homes, back to a normal state of living the better it is. It helps us to better understand other states, other federal agencies and other municipalities and how they operate,” said Royce.