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Five-day disaster drill held in Metro East

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Illinois is holding a five-day emergency drill this week in Edwardsville to test evacuations and terrorism response.

It's designed to bring federal, state and local agencies together to practice several scenarios including sheltering one-thousand people.

This is the second major drill in Illinois in three months.

Mike Chamness is the chairman of the Illinois Terrorism Taskforce. He says after Hurricane Katrina Governor Blagojevich wanted to step up emergency exercises.

"He instructed us to not only exercise more but to design the exercises in such a way that you stress the system and find where it breaks," Chamness said.

Chamness says the state allocated about $1 million in Homeland Security funds this year for such drills.

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