News 4 Investigates: Disaster Planning -

News 4 Investigates: Disaster Planning

Missouri's central location in the United States puts it at the crossroads of major highways and railroads. It also positions the state to be a good place for companies or government agencies that service the center of the country. It no doubt played a role in the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's decision to select Missouri as the site for pre-positioning emergency equipment in preparation for possible natural disasters and emergencies including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents. FEMA already has eight Pre-positioning Equipment Program sites across the country. The equipment includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), detection instrumentation, emergency medical supplies, technical rescue equipment, decontamination equipment, interoperable communications and logistics support equipment. The site will be located in Kansas City. The location was selected to ensure the most strategic deployment location for a 600 mile area that includes Chicago, Ill., Minneapolis, Minn., Des Moines, Iowa and Omaha, Neb.

Down the road at Fort Leonard Wood, there's a team of specialists who will be some of those who might use those pre-positioned supplies. They are members of the Army and Air National Guard who are part of the Missouri National Guard's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package, also known as CERFP. CERFP teams respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high yield explosive incident or other catastrophic events and assist local, state and federal agencies in conducting consequence management by providing capabilities to conduct personnel decontamination, emergency medical services and casualty search and extraction. An entire CERFP team is 186 personnel. In March, about 125 members of the Fort Leonard Wood CERFP team, took part in an important round of training.

Missouri sits in a key spot in the country for travelers and would play a key role, in the event of a major bio-chemical event or national emergency in the central region of the country.

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