Why is FEMA conducting a massive pandemic training exercise if there’s no risk from Ebola?

Saturday, November 8, 2014
By Paul Martin

by: Ethan A. Huff
Saturday, November 08, 2014

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

The Rest…HERE

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