EXERCISE * EXERCISE * EXERCISE
On March 6-7, 2023, a total of 35 responders participated in
Region 7 Field Data Collection & Incident Management Full-Scale Exercise
Plan, a natural disaster flooding response exercise at the EPA Region 7 Office.
Participants included 19 EPA Region 7 OSCs, 7 KDHE SOCSs, 4 MDNR SOCSs and 5
The exercise scenario involved extreme flooding in Crawford
County, Kansas that displaced hundreds of containers, with many deposited in a
complex of small lakes in Pittsburg, Kansas. With a federal disaster
declaration in place, EPA receives a mission assignment from the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to locate, recover, and dispose of displaced
An Incident Management Team (IMT) was established to implement
field operations and assess hazards. Electronic field data collection forms
were created using ArcGIS Survey123 and Field Maps and staff were trained on
the technology in order to implement field operations. Teams were then deployed
to the lakes behind the regional office to locate and remove the simulated
containers of hazardous materials displaced during a flood.
Staff were able to test systems and identify improvements
needed to promote information sharing and informed decision-making during an
operational event. The exercise allowed
for responders to learn and practice policies and procedures through field
response activities and IMT functions.