Disaster preparedness exercise at Nationals Park

Over the course of this year, we've seen the importance of knowing what to do in the event of a disaster. Hurricane Irene and even a small earthquake struck the east coast within the past six months, leaving a lot of us to wonder how we would handle ourselves should a threat ever arise.

Fortunately for those in the Washington area, The District of Columbia Fire Department (DCFD) and the U.S. Marines Corps' Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) will conduct a large-scale disaster preparedness exercise on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at Nationals Park, simulating the joint response to a major terrorist attack.

Nationals Park will be utilized to simulate conditions first-responders would face trying to rescue victims and provide emergency medical care on the scene during a chemical attack. The drill will involve DC Fire personnel working with roughly 150 Marines and sailors from CBIRF, an active duty unit trained to counter the effects of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive incident and poised to deploy at any time to the National Capital Region.

I think it's important to note that this is not meant to instill any fear or panic in citizens, but mainly to spread knowledge and instruction in case of an emergency. It's always a good thing to be prepared, and if you attend this exercise, you will be.

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