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    Posted May 7, 2014 by
    Pueblo, Colorado

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    Mock Disaster Exercise Included Army Chemical Depot

    PUEBLO, CO -- Agencies from around the Pueblo area came together today to test their skills and their preparedness level in the event that either a chemical leak or chemical warfare strikes the area. The agencies were a part of a federal program called the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP). It is run between a partnership of FEMA and the US Army to test the preparedness level of local agencies near chemical stockpiles.

    Pueblo, Colorado is home to the Pueblo Chemical Depot which is a chemical weapons storage site. The depot houses 2,611 tons (2,369 metric tons) of mustard agent in approximately 780,000 munitions, equivalent to about seven percent of the original chemical material stockpile of the United States. The CSEPP Exercise brought personnel from the Pueblo Fire Department, Pueblo Police Department, Pueblo West Fire Department, Pueblo County Sheriffs Office, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and many others.

    Today's exercise scenario involved a simulated chemical incident at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot and another non-related emergency within the city limits of Pueblo. The mock events were large enough to require the activation of the new Pueblo County Emergency Operations Center, the Pueblo Community Joint Information Center, field decontamination and treatment facilities, as well as shelters for displaced citizens and their household pets. This exercise takes place once a year in the Pueblo area and allows agencies to be as prepared as possible if such an incident were to occur.

    Preparation helps to find all those areas in which more training or equipment is needed in order to respond to an incident. In a few days a report will be available that details how well the agencies did in this exercise and what improvements will need to be made. Responders will take this information and begin to work out the areas in which didn't go as they would have hoped. The CSEPP planning team will then begin planning the exercise for next year based on this years results.
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