State officials say a drill Thursday to test Iowa’s ability to respond to an outbreak of “foot-and-mouth” disease was a success. Iowa Emergency Management Division Administrator Ellen Gordon.says she believes the drill helped point out weak areas in the state’s emergency response plan. Gordon says over 200 state officials took part in the plan and the will continue evaluating the drill and get reports on the strengths and weaknesses of the system.Gordon says they tried to check out every possible scenario that might come up in an outbreak.State Agriculture Secretary Patty Judge says one of the areas they need to work on is a response to concerned Iowans.They simulated the flood of phone calls they would get in a crisis, and determined they need a better system. Judge says they’ll create a hotline to answer questions if a real outbreak hits Iowa. Judge says the drill should make farmers rest a little easier.She says farmers should be relieved the state has a plan in place, but she says farmers shouldn’t be lax in guarding against the threat.The drill was held at the Iowa National Guard’s STARC Armory in Johnston.
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