Originally published November 8 2014
Why is FEMA conducting a massive pandemic training exercise if there's no risk from Ebola?
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) As the Ebola outbreak rages on, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is entering the second year of a massive pandemic training exercise that has been taking place in New York City and northern New Jersey since last summer. Though the general sentiment is still that Ebola doesn't represent much of a threat to Americans, the federal government is actively preparing for a situation in which a disease like it rapidly sweeps the nation, causing widespread panic and death.
Entitled "2013-14 Pandemic Influenza Continuity Exercise Strategy," the FEMA drill is designed to simulate what would occur in the event that a highly virulent disease strain starts spreading from person to person in pockets all across the U.S. Using U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicators, FEMA is assuming that the clinical attack rate of the disease is 30 percent or higher, which would include Ebola.
In the drill's overview, FEMA presents a training schedule that warns about every level of industry and government being affected by the disease. Economists, epidemiologists and various other experts, it says, predict the "effects of a modern-day pandemic will be seen in every industry and government agency at local, regional, national and international levels."
Using the infamous 1918 Spanish Flu as a baseline, FEMA says that certain pernicious pathogens can have large-scale effects, injuring and killing millions of people in a worst-case scenario. Consequently, it is important, maintains the agency, to establish continuity in all critical infrastructures, including at the public and private levels.
"History teaches us that the impact of a pandemic can be far-reaching," states FEMA. "The 1918 'Spanish Flu' influenza killed approximately 30,000 people in NYC, 500,000 in the United States and as many as 50-100 million worldwide. Furthermore, it leads to widespread social disruption and economic loss."
FEMA prepares for 50 percent loss of both government, private-sector staff In the third stage of this "continuity exercise," which is set to begin on November 13, FEMA is planning to go live in New York City and "other locations" with "Pandemic Influenza Wave 1 Full Scale Exercise," according to Intellihub.com.
Using the public's fear of Ebola as the pretext, a FEMA official admitted to "role players" involved with this latest phase of the drill that the outbreak will be used alongside it. The exercise has been deliberately designed, he says, around what is already occurring with regard to Ebola, the official script of which is available here:
"[W]e were very aware of all the responses we are getting that Ebola is very high on people's attention list," stated the FEMA official during a recent webinar presentation to the drill's crisis actors. "[R]est assured we have taken a lot of the things that are actually happening with the Ebola crisis and factored them into the exercise."
"They are just under the cover of you know, what would happen during a pandemic."
Part of the exercise includes addressing a scenario where up to 50 percent of both government and private-sector staff are affected by the pandemic as it culminates, potentially missing work for weeks at a time. How the national, and ultimately global, system will continue to operate under this scenario is what FEMA apparently aims to address by simulating a rapid government response.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is also involved with the drill in the area of telecommunications. Phone lines, it is predicted, will be heavily jammed in the event of a pandemic, as bedridden and quarantined folks, as well as health workers, all try to use their phones at once, which could prompt a government takeover of the resource.
Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com
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