New Orleans—The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital’s Office of Public Health, Region 1, in conjunction with the Region 1 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and other partners from the greater New Orleans area, will be hosting a full-scale bioterrorism preparedness drill in New Orleans on Thursday at the city’s Emergency Operations Center located in City Hall.   

The goal of this exercise is to improve the region’s preparedness for an event involving the use of a biological weapon of mass destruction. It will also work to foster partnerships, planning activities and coordination efforts among local emergency response agencies within the five-parish area. The drill will test the current strengths in response actions, reporting abilities and communications systems of the area, building upon a smaller scale drill that was conducted on June 12. Members of the state’s Bioterrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response Unit will be at the drill to give guidance and feedback. 

The media is invited to attend the exercises from 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. State and local public health officials, as well as local officials from law enforcement and emergency response will be on hand for interviews and video/photographs will be permitted at that time. For additional information, contact Melissa Walker at (225) 763-3558. 

What:              Region 1 Full-Scale Bioterrorism Preparedness Drill

When:             Thursday, July 24, 2003, 10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Where:            Emergency Operations Center, New Orleans City Hall
                        1300 Perdido Street
                        Room 9E06
                        New Orleans, Louisiana