Johnson County Emergency Management trains for terror attack

Posted: 5:45 PM, Sep 21, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-22 15:51:07-04

In October 2015, Johnson County Emergency Management was looking for a scenario for its annual EOC exercise for this year. They decided to recreate a terrorist attack.

The scene that played out in the Emergency Operations Center Wednesday was eerily similar to recent events.

"We're simulating as if there was an explosion at the Sprint Center yesterday and a vehicle borne IED detonating on 435 and 69 as well as possible active shooter events throughout the county," said Trenton Pittman, Assistant Director, Community Preparedness.

The exercise has been held for the last four years, in conjunction with National Preparedness Month. More than a dozen agencies were involved.

"We're trying to play with all the parties that we would normally play with in a disaster to make it as real as possible," said Hannes Zacharias, County Manager.

All the action took place within the EOC, the purpose being to test coordination and logistics. First responders were not involved, and there were no actors playing victims.

More than eighty people filled the command center, exchanging information and making decisions regarding allocation of essential resources.

"We do written evaluations throughout the day, then come back at a later time period to say, 'How'd we do?'" Zacharias explained.

The county said one of the best things its residents can do to help during a crisis is sign up for the county's emergency notification service at