"Illinois' emergency preparedness and response is recognized as one
of the best in the nation, and I know we're well-prepared to handle
most disasters," Blagojevich said. "If we're ever faced with a major
disaster or simultaneous events, we need to know that all levels of
our plan work, such as communications between state and local
officials, communications between response organizations, and
training and equipment. This aggressive exercise should help us both
validate where our plan works and identify areas that need further
The exercise scenario was initiated last week when
exercise participants began receiving messages alerting them to the
development of an influenza outbreak in Asia. The full exercise will
kick off around 1 p.m. today as the scenario continues to progress.
The exercise continues all day tomorrow with the addition of a
terrorist attack element and concludes on Thursday afternoon.
Participants will then meet to discuss how the exercise went and
begin examining "lessons learned" from the experience.
More than 50 representatives from state and federal agencies and
the American Red Cross will report to the State Incident Response
Center within the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield
to assess the situation and coordinate with the city of Chicago and
Cook County on how the state can assist with the pandemic outbreak
in the Chicago area. Nearly 2,000 participants are expected to take
part in the exercise at several venues.
This week's exercise is the latest effort by the governor to
improve the state's preparedness for dealing with major emergencies.
Others include the following:
Blagojevich signed two laws focused on improving security at
public utilities and railroad terminals.
House Bill 4419 requires all public utilities to maintain a
security policy and conduct practice exercises annually, and
Senate Bill 2489 allows railroads to utilize electric
fencing and monitoring equipment at terminals.
Last week Blagojevich signed
Senate Bill 2921, which enables cities or counties with
emergency response plans approved by the Illinois Emergency
Management Agency to enlist volunteer health care professionals
to help distribute medications if the governor has declared a
disaster. The change will now allow communities to more
efficiently handle health care crises on a local level in
coordination with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and
the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Also last week,
Blagojevich announced that an Illinois Department of Agriculture
lab in Galesburg is the first lab in the state to receive
certification to perform vital testing for avian influenza. This
lab will enable the state to significantly cut down the time it
takes to determine whether a suspected case of bird flu may be
positive, allowing Illinois to quickly activate the response.
= = =
Illinois FluEx 2006 fact sheet
Illinois FluEx 2006
is full-scale exercise dealing with highly contagious
communicable disease and weapons of mass destruction. The
exercise is sponsored by the Illinois Emergency Management
Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Preparedness
Directorate's Office of Grants and Training.
Illinois FluEx 2006
is an intrastate exercise involving the coordination of
preparedness, response and recovery activities between the state
of Illinois and the Chicago Urban Area Security Initiative,
which is between the city of Chicago and Cook County.
Illinois FluEx 2006
is a three-day exercise that focuses on command-level
decision-making, crisis prevention, responder safety, resource
management, population protection and public information in
response to a public health emergency and a simultaneous
This exercise will
focus on key emergency responder coordination, critical
decisions and the integration of state and local assets during a
public health emergency and simultaneous terrorist incident.
Illinois FluEx 2006
will establish a learning environment for state and local
agencies to exercise their protocols for responding to a public
health emergency and simultaneous terrorist incident.
Illinois FluEx 2006
will provide the state of Illinois and the Chicago Urban Area
Security Initiative an opportunity to implement current response
plans and capabilities to:
weaknesses in emergency operations plans or standard operating
procedures and to test and validate recently changed procedures.
coordination between and among various response organizations,
elected officials and community support organizations.
on the critical elements of emergency response in accordance
with the National Incident Management System.
general awareness and understanding of highly infectious
diseases and hazards of potential chemical, biological,
radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives.
resources, equipment and personnel needed to prepare for and
respond to a public health emergency and simultaneous terrorist
Validation of preparedness since TOPOFF
The exercise will serve as a mechanism to validate the
preparedness efforts -- the lessons learned -- since Illinois'
participation in the second National Top Officials exercise, known
as TOPOFF2, in May 2003.
TOPOFF is a congressionally-mandated exercise series designed to
train top officials and first responders and develop a coordinated
national and international response to terrorist attacks involving
weapons of mass destruction.
The May 2003 event was the second national training and
coordinating exercise combating terrorism and engaging top officials
from the federal, state and local levels. TOPOFF2 culminated in an
exercise in mid-May 2003 dealing with weapons of mass destruction
and involving, among others, Seattle and the state of Washington,
Chicago and the state of Illinois, and Canada.
Illinois is the first state to conduct a full-scale exercise to
validate the lessons learned from the TOPOFF series exercise.
[to top of second column]
Primary exercise objectives
Demonstrate the ability to implement an incident command system,
transition to a unified command, and effectively direct, coordinate
and manage a response to an emergency.
Demonstrate the ability to establish and maintain effective
communications among all appropriate response locations, agencies
and emergency response personnel during a response to an emergency.
Demonstrate the ability to activate, staff and use an emergency
operations center to coordinate and support multilevel agencies
responding to an emergency.
Demonstrate the capability to initiate appropriate mass care
steps to minimize the effects of the outbreak and support other
agencies in their response efforts to an emergency.
Demonstrate the ability to identify, mobilize and manage
resources required to support a prolonged response to an emergency.
Demonstrate the ability to protect the health and safety of
emergency response personnel in response to an emergency.
Demonstrate the ability to coordinate and disseminate accurate
information to the public using all facets of the media during the
response to an emergency.
Demonstrate the ability to identify and implement appropriate
protective actions, based upon projected risks posed to the public
by an emergency.
Demonstrate the ability of the community to maintain the
continuity of operations and continuity of government during and in
the aftermath of an emergency.
Primary locations for exercise activities
State Emergency Operations Center, Springfield
Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications
Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Park
Northern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy, Glenview
Schedule of major events
Tuesday, May 2
10 a.m. -- Pre-exercise media briefing at the State Emergency
1 p.m. -- Start of Day 1 exercise play
6 p.m. -- End of Day 1 exercise play
6 p.m. -- Day 1 exercise media briefing at the State Emergency
Wednesday, May 3
8 a.m. -- Start of Day 2 exercise play
8:15 a.m. -- Homeland security and exercise media briefing at
Northern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy
6 p.m. -- End of Day 2 exercise play
6 p.m. -- Day 2 exercise media briefing at the State Emergency
Thursday, May 4
8 a.m. -- Start of Day 3 exercise play
10 a.m. -- Media briefing at the James R. Thompson Center press
2 p.m. -- End of Day 3 exercise play
2 p.m. -- Day 3 media briefing at the State Emergency Operations
Friday, May 5
Time to be announced -- Post-exercise media briefing
Participating agencies and organizations
Illinois Emergency Management Agency
Illinois State Police
Illinois National Guard
Illinois Department of Transportation
Illinois Commerce Commission
Illinois Department of Corrections
American Red Cross
Illinois Department of Public Health
Central Management Services
Office of the State Fire Marshal
Illinois Department of Agriculture
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Illinois Department of Human Services
Secretary of State Police
Office of the Attorney General
Mutual Aid Box Alarm System
Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System
Local government agencies
City of Chicago
Funding to support exercise
The exercise is being conducted at no cost to the state of
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Preparedness
Directorate's Office of Grants and Training is providing direct
support to the state of Illinois for the development and evaluation
of the exercise.
The state of
Illinois will use federal homeland security funding to support
personnel costs associated with the activation of local public
safety agencies participating in the exercise. It is estimated
the exercise will cost approximately $750,000 in federal
homeland security funding.
[News release from the governor's