FEMA Plans Disaster Drill on Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas is the designated spot for a mock nuclear explosion planned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA had planned to simulate a nuclear explosion right on the Las Vegas Strip to test for emergency preparedness. But the plan is meeting a lot of opposition from all the key players, including Boyd Gaming, MGM Mirage, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the LVCVA.

“All of our focus should be on attracting visitors on reasons why they should visit Las Vegas, not inhibitors,” said Vince Alberta with the LVCVA.

LVCVA wrote a letter on behalf of those against the idea saying, “We believe a scenario such as this will generate undue anxiety about visiting or conducting business in Las Vegas.”

Critics say a mock nuclear explosion should happen at a place where the damage would have a greater impact, like the Hoover Dam. But it's a step-by-step process and the first battle won is moving the exercise away from the Strip and over to Sunset Park. But it's not enough. “The biggest request we have is to change the exercise,” said Alberta.

LVCVA says a flood or earthquake drill would be a better alternative over a nuclear blast drill.

FEMA responded by saying, “We will continue to reach out to key stakeholders, including state and local officials, to receive their input as we prepare for and continue to develop this important event.”

The exercise is scheduled for May 17, 2010 and is expected to bring 10,000 people to town.


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