Last month’s storms reminded all of us of the value of preparedness. The ability of City agencies to respond quickly and well to our residents’ urgent needs in July was the result of years of planning and practice. But, I know that those storms — while widespread and destructive — were not the full-scale emergencies of a 9/11 or a Katrina.
That’s why City officials and agencies will be participating today in a full-scale emergency preparedness exercise at Busch Stadium. The exercise will focus on the integration of City, State, Federal and military emergency response efforts to the simulated release of a hazardous material and the detonation of improvised explosive devices. More than 5,000 volunteers will join members of my staff, the St. Louis City Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), the Metropolitan Police Department and the St. Louis Fire Department, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) and other first and second responder units.
To support the exercise, there will be some downtown street closures around Busch Stadium after the evening rush hours. Any short-term inconvenience will be worth the lessons we learn tonight.