5:50am

Thu May 19, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Kentucky Officials participate in Earthquake Drills

The Federal Emergency Management Agency conducted an earthquake drill in western Kentucky Wednesday.

FEMA is testing how well various federal, state, city and private agencies can respond to a devastating quake on the New Madrid Fault, which is underneath parts of Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.

Louisville MetroSafe spokesperson Lee Cravins says his agency was asked to prepare to send crews to the simulated disaster area.

“Since we’ve got so many special teams as well as resources, we’ve been requested to assist in western Kentucky. From the emergency operations center we manage receiving the request and then sending the units that are requested,” he says.

Cravins says everything went smoothly. There have been no major problems with radios or communications and first responders were mobilized quickly. The drill continues into tomorrow. Cravins says MetroSafe could be asked to respond to any number of simulated catastrophes, and crews have been thinking more about a potential quake since the disaster in Japan.

“It’s something that always sits on our mind. As close as we are to the New Madrid fault line, as well as others, and anything could happen at any time. We try to prepare for it as much as possible,” he says.

First responders in Lexington also participated in the drill.