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Major disaster response test slated for this month

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE 8 News) – The Louisiana National Guard in partnership with state, local and federal agencies will be participating in the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness' training exercise to test disaster response, March 23.

As the 2013 hurricane season approaches, these agencies will be evaluating their ability to respond and test their level of preparedness at two location sites – the Fontainebleau State Park in St. Tammany Parish and the Grand Prairie Rest Area in St. Landry Parish.

The exercises will test LANG's ability to coordinate SAR activities with other agencies to provide support to the state in the event of an emergency event in Louisiana. In addition to intra-agency coordination, agencies will conduct training on air, water, and ground search and rescue operations, Lilly Pad Operations, Parish Collection Points, Communications Interoperability, and Points-of-Distribution (POD) Training.

The training will showcase the LANG and partner agencies' ability to respond quickly to any and all emergency situations, and also test the response plan to identify possible deficiencies and also to evaluate the ability to respond to multiple missions simultaneously.

Participating agencies will include: St. Tammany Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish, St. Martin Parish, Acadia Parish, and Vermilion Parish, Louisiana State Police, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, Department of Corrections, Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office, Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Health & Hospitals, Department of Transportation & Development and other local and federal emergency management agencies.

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