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Multi-State Disaster Scenario Puts Focus on Preparing for Earthquakes

Thursday, June 19, 2014 | 03:00am

Tennessee’s Catastrophic Plan Exercised with CAPSTONE ‘14


Memphis, TN – The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) has wrapped up a week-long multi-state exercise of emergency responses to a 7.7 magnitude earthquake along the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The exercise, known nationally as CAPSTONE ‘14, also involved exercising the state’s Catastrophic Annex to the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan.


“An earthquake of this size would tax the response capabilities of more than just Tennessee,” said David Purkey, Interim Director of TEMA. “It would truly be a national emergency and require response from all corners of the country and possibly internationally.”


Based on hazard modeling and available analysis, immediate severe impacts as a result of a large NMSZ event are expected in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. CAPSTONE provided these impacted states, supporting states, the federal government and the private sector with an opportunity to practice sharing information for a common operating picture at a regional level and to request and track resources.


In Tennessee, more than 1,000 members of the National Guard, many State departments and agencies, and city and county governments, as well as many private sector partners participated in CAPSTONE by testing systems, exercising plans or just sharing information.


During the CAPSTONE exercise, specific areas of focus included:


  • Regional Communications
  • Regional Situational Awareness
  • Regional Transportation
  • Private Sector Integration
  • Regional Resource Management
  • Military Support of Civilian Authorities





TEMA’s mission is to coordinate response and recovery during emergencies to reduce loss of life and property in Tennessee; and, when not in an emergency, to plan, train, exercise, and otherwise prepare for response, recovery and mitigation. For more information on preparing for emergencies, visit TEMA’s website at, or download TEMA’s free ReadyTN smartphone application,, available for iPhone, iPad and Android phones.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency | Press Releases