Ohio National Guard, EMA hosting emergency response exercise

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio National Guard and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency are hosting the largest disaster and emergency response exercise in state history.

Vigilant Guard 2019 is a national level exercise.

The multi-day event will test the state’s emergency response capabilities, while also tackling a simulated cyberattack.

According to Major General John C. Harris, Jr., Ohio’s adjutant general, 90 local, state and federal agencies from across the country are participating in Vigilant Guard.

“This exercise will allow us, as one joint force, to comprehensively test the readiness of the National Guard alongside our partner agencies, in order to be better prepared to protect our citizens and our state when a disaster hits,” said Harris.

Vigilant Guard activities will take place in eleven counties including Athens, Clark, Columbiana, Franklin, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Knox, Licking, Portage and Washington.

“Vigilant Guard will put Ohio’s emergency response capabilities to the test in a worst-case scenario to help us prepare for a real-life threat to the health and safety of Ohioans,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “An exercise of this magnitude requires cooperation across all levels of government, and I commend the efforts of everyone involved for their hard work to make sure we have a successful outcome.”

Members of the public may notice a heavier than usual presence of military personnel and first responders throughout the duration of Vigilant Guard, which concludes on August 8.

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