The Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division held a disaster exercise today (Wednesday) that simulated an influenza pandemic.

Nicole Peckumn, a spokesperson for the Health Department, says a pandemic means outbreaks are happening all around us worldwide. She says while a pandemic is not taking place in the U.S., the preparedness exercise is important.

Peckumn says they have to be prepared for all possibilities. She says the science of a pandemic changes every day, but the need to train and be ready does not change. Peckumn says the exercise went well.

Peckumn says they built on their successes and did find areas of improvement — but says that’s expected because exercises are designed to improve response. Peckumn says some 300 people took part in today’s exercise.