National Guard Members Train For Catastrophe At Muskogee's Camp - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

National Guard Members Train For Catastrophe At Muskogee's Camp Gruber

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Men and women from six different states have spent the week practicing how to react to a massive earthquake. Men and women from six different states have spent the week practicing how to react to a massive earthquake.
"Helps us get more familiar with our equipment in a real world scenario," said John Luther, the emergency manager for Washington County, Arkansas. "Helps us get more familiar with our equipment in a real world scenario," said John Luther, the emergency manager for Washington County, Arkansas.
Actors pretended to be injured in a magnitude 7.7 earthquake, as part of a training exercise at Camp Gruber in Muskogee County. Actors pretended to be injured in a magnitude 7.7 earthquake, as part of a training exercise at Camp Gruber in Muskogee County.
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma -

Hundreds of national guardsmen were in Oklahoma Wednesday, training for the big one.

Men and women from six different states have spent the week practicing how to react to a massive earthquake.

Actors pretended to be injured in a magnitude 7.7 earthquake, as part of a training exercise at Camp Gruber in Muskogee County.

More than 900 National Guardsmen have spent the past two days there, practicing how to respond after an earthquake or other natural disaster.

"Helps us get more familiar with our equipment in a real world scenario," said John Luther, the emergency manager for Washington County, Arkansas.

He said earthquakes are not uncommon in the nation's heartland. Oklahoma, after all, has recorded around 100 earthquakes just in the past few days. Luther said emergency planners want to be ready if another one of those earthquakes turns disastrous.

4/17/2013 Related Story: Six More Earthquakes Recorded In Oklahoma Wednesday

"Truly, I don't think we know what the effects will be. I just think that we need to plan that they'll be bad, and we need to have ourselves in a position where we'll be able to perform our duties," he said.

Organizers say Camp Gruber is the perfect place to hold this kind of training. They say the structures and rubble is extremely hard to reproduce.

"It's basically about the collapsed structures. It's about the search and extraction guys being able to put their skill set that they have learned into practice," said Lt. Col. Johnathon Ballard, with the Louisiana Army and Air National Guard.

He said since earthquakes are hard to predict, it's important for search and rescue crews to be ready.

"With the way the fault is here, without going into a whole lot of detail, it's very, very feasible to happen in the United States," Ballard said. "Haiti thought they would never get an earthquake either, and we know what happened there a couple of years ago.

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