We’re partnering with the AZ Division of Emergency Management to conduct the biggest preparedness exercise ever to be held in Arizona.  It’s called the 2011 Arizona ”Vigilant Guard” Exercise.  It’ll involve around 5,000 folks from various backgrounds including emergency management, public health, health care, law enforcement, fire, military, and the private sector.  The exercise will be based on a flooding event and an improvised nuclear device.  As you can imagine, this scenario will truly test our ability to respond to a catastrophic event.  The exercise will take place on Nov. 3–6.  Hospitals, clinics, and most public health will just be participating on Nov. 4. 

Because this is an operational exercise, our Health Emergency Operation Center will be fully activated here at ADHS.  Hospitals, clinics, local health departments, and other response agencies will also activate their emergency operation centers.  Key areas for us to test will be medical surge management, shelter-in-place guidelines, communications, and the creation of registries for exposed persons.  I’ll be posting more information over the coming weeks to keep y’all up to speed on what to expect and how to prepare.