News: State officials test emergency evacuation procedures, response effectiveness
Story by Sgt. Lauren Twigg
PHOENIX — Representatives from the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches, of Arizona's State Government, as well as state emergency and joint military operations, departed by UH-60 Black Hawk from the Capitol Mall on Thursday, Aug. 16 to participate in a Continuity of Government planning exercise.
“The exercise is a component of the State Emergency Response and Recovery Plan that ensures Arizona's Constitutional Order of Succession is preserved and remains operational during an emergency,” said Mr. John Burk, Senior Executive Officer, Department of Emergency and Military Affairs.
Members from the State’s branches were flown to the Western Army Aviation Training Site to review the facilities and see what resources are available in the event of an emergency where officials will relocate to continue Government functions during an emergency.
“The Department of Emergency and Military Affairs is responsible for exercising the State's Agencies responsible for Continuity of Government to ensure efficient and effective responses to statewide emergencies,” Burk said. “The purpose of the exercise is to determine the viability of the alternate location and assess interoperability among State Agencies.”
Representatives were transported by way of helicopter in the event roadways are down and state officials are needed to be taken to a more secure location for maximum protection when responding to an emergency.