National Level Exercise 2011 That Will Simulate A Catastrophic Earthquake

Next month, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) will participate in National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE 11)—a White House directed, congressionally mandated functional exercise that will simulate the catastrophic nature of a major earthquake in the central United States region of the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ).
The purpose of NLE 11 is to prepare and coordinate a multiple-jurisdictional integrated response to a national catastrophic event. Led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and taking place May 16–20, 2011, NLE 11 will involve government officials at the federal, state, and local levels; members of the private sector; and the general public.
In Arkansas, NLE 11 participation includes a variety of full-scale activities that will use on-the-ground first response activities to test participants on a wide range of capabilities. These include a simulated school collapse and a simulated train derailment. In North Little Rock, ADEM will activate its emergency operations center to coordinate the simulated response and stand up a joint information center that will include partners from various state agencies, as well as federal officials.
“This exercise will be a realistic barometer of our response capabilities—bringing together the federal, state and local government in Arkansas, as well as the general public, businesses and other members of the private sector,” said David Maxwell, ADEM Director. “As we continue to mark the bicentennial anniversary of the New Madrid earthquakes, we look forward to the lessons we will learn from the exercise.”
NLE 11 activities will also take place at federal facilities in Washington, D.C., the four affected FEMA Regions: FEMA Region IV (Atlanta, Ga.), FEMA Region V (Chicago, Ill.), FEMA Region VI (Denton, Texas), and FEMA Region VII (Kansas City, Mo.); and the eight affected central U.S. States: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. In addition to preparation for NLE 11, on April 28, Arkansas will participate in the Great Central ShakeOut: a “Stop, Cover and Hold On” drill that will occur across the NMSZ. The drill, during which thousands of Arkansans will practice the proper actions to take to protect themselves during an earthquake, is an important part of the state’s preparedness efforts and will help ensure the entire community is ready in the event of an earthquake.
For more information about NLE 11, visit
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management is the state’s homeland security and preparedness agency. The agency works to identify and lessen the effects of emergencies, disasters and threats to Arkansas by developing effective prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions for all disasters and emergencies.  For additional information, contact ADEM at (501) 683-6700 or visit the website at