Pennsylvania town simulates aerosolized anthrax attack

In an ambitious test of the Strategic National Stockpile's response plan, the city of Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, simulated the release of aerosolized anthrax this week.

As part of the simulated scenario, a crop-dusting plane spread anthrax over sections of I-95, which led to the creation of a command center at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit.

After the command center was in place, reports, state and federal authorities coordinated to rapidly deploy medication to points of dispensing, including the local high school. This allowed authorities to test the ability of emergency responders to dispense three types of stockpile medications used to combat anthrax infections.

"what we’re preparing for is setting up a command, control, communications and coordination system, a logistics transportation system and an actual dispensing system whereby we get medications directly to the hands of our citizens," Wilbur Wolf, a consultant for the county on emergency preparedness, told "And all that has to happen within 48 hours.

“The anthrax scenario is an important part for us because it forces us to do all of our response within a very short time period. We have done 14 singular site exercises already in the county. This one, we stand up and operate through the command, control, communication and coordination across at least 23 different sites all at one time, so we thought that would be significantly challenging.”