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[IDHS] State Level Exercise to Test Indiana's Disaster Response
Start Date: 9/24/2012
End Date: 9/24/2012
Entry Description

More than 700 Responders from Four States to Participate

INDIANAPOLIS – Beginning today, September 24 and lasting through September 28, more than 700 emergency responders from four states are taking part in Without Warning, a full-scale disaster response exercise led by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS). Participants include state and local emergency responders and incident managers as well as private sector partners, who are practicing coordinating response efforts for natural disasters.

“These exercises are an important fundamental way Indiana practices disaster response plans and procedures,” said Joe Wainscott, executive director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. “The ability to build relationships across jurisdictions now will help with collaboration during a real-life event.”

This exercise simulates a flood, an F3 tornado and widespread destruction. Participants are getting hands-on experience at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, which is designed to reflect a realistic disaster setting including flooded homes, debris littered streets and survivors in need of medical attention. The full-scale nature allows all aspects of the response effort to be evaluated without placing any lives at risk.

Exercise participants include IDHS Response Task Forces from Districts 7, 8, 9 and 10, hazardous material, search and rescue and support elements from District 4, emergency medical services and crisis mental health elements from District 6, and water rescue teams from Districts 7 and 10. You can find a map of the districts at

Each IDHS district response task force is comprised of professional emergency responders who volunteer their free time to support other emergency response agencies around the state. When a disaster stretches beyond the scope of local resources, local officials can request support from IDHS task forces. At a minimum, each task force is comprised of five core elements: emergency medical services, law enforcement and fire suppression elements, an all hazards incident management team, and a service and support section.

“Indiana’s task force system has been very effective, during previous exercises and real emergency situations, most recently during the March tornadoes in Southern Indiana,” said Wainscott. “The task forces can quickly mobilize and begin assisting local efforts, coordinating resources to better serve Hoosiers in a disaster.”

Out-of-state participants include the San Diego All Hazards Incident Management Team (AHIMT), Illinois AHIMT and Kentucky water rescue team. Exercising with partners from other states allows Indiana to practice using mutual aid agreements. Should a disaster require multi-state assistance, interstate mutual aid agreements are designed to allow other states to quickly assist each other across state lines.

The Indiana Building Emergency Assessment and Monitoring (I-BEAM) Team, comprised of trained and qualified volunteer engineers, architects and other qualified personnel from around the state, will also be participating to exercise its capabilities. This relatively new volunteer program enables these members of the community to offer their time and talents to the citizens of Indiana by conducting safety assessments of essential public facilities following a natural or man-made disaster.

State agency participants include the Indiana State Police (ISP) Tactical Intervention Platoon (TIP) and water rescue team; Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), highway assessment crews; Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) search and rescue and water rescue teams; and the Indiana State Personnel Department (SPD), which will be assisting with the integration of teams from out-of-state.

Leadership for a Safe and Secure Indiana


Media Contact: THE FOLLOWING CONTACT INFORMATION IS NOT FOR DISCLOSURE TO THE PUBLIC: John Erickson or Emily Norcross (317) 234-6713,

Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    Homeland Security, Indiana Department of

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