WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Southeast Iowa Prepares For Disaster

Keokuk, IA – A state-coordinated disaster drill tested Southeast Iowa's response to an agri-terrorism event. Lee County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Cirinna says about 10 counties took part in the exercise. Those involved had to react to a fake outbreak of the contagious foot and mouth disease. Cirinna says the exercise required Lee County to open its emergency operations center and test its capability. He says communication between the different agencies, including law enforcement, county government, and public health, was good within the E.O.C. Cirinna says one issue that must be addressed is the need to enhance the technology at the E.O.C., which is located in the basement of Fort Madison's City Hall. This is the second phase in the state's 3 year exercise plan. Cirinna says the third phase, a fully operational mock drill, is still in the planning stages.