Fact Check: FEMA Did NOT Announce Plans To Conduct 'Nuclear Detonation Drill' January 6

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: FEMA Did NOT Announce Plans To Conduct 'Nuclear Detonation Drill' January 6 Zoom Seminar

Did the Federal Emergency Management Agency announce it will conduct a nuclear detonation "drill" on January 6, 2022? No, that's not true: FEMA had planned to host a half-hour-long webinar for emergency response planners, mass care providers and emergency responders on the topic of planning guidance for response to a nuclear detonation. This would not be a nuclear detonation drill, it would be a Zoom meeting. However, FEMA said on January 5, 2022, that the webinar was postponed due to inclement weather in the Washington, D.C., area.

False claims about this real seminar began to appear online in early January 2022. One example is an article published by halturnerradioshow.com on January 4, 2022, titled "FEMA To Conduct 'Nuclear Detonation Drill' January 6" (archived here) which opened:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced it will conduct a nuclear detonation "drill" on January 6 from 3:00-3:30 PM eastern time. Strangely, in the past, federal "drills" turned out to be the real thing . . .

FEMA's announcement is shown in the image above. A direct link to it appears on their official web site HERE

They even have a Manual they distribute to State and Local response agencies talking about what to expect:

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

FEMA To Conduct "Nuclear Detonation Drill" January 6

Lead Stories reached out to FEMA for comment. A FEMA spokesperson replied by email on January 5, 2022:

Due to inclement weather in the Washington D.C. area, we are postponing the webinar on Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation. We will release updated information once it becomes available. The webinar is intended for our emergency management partners for educational purposes only.

The webinar is titled, "National Engagement Seminar for Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation" and is listed on the FEMA website. The event is intended for an audience of emergency response planners and public agencies that provide services that may be needed in an emergency. The seminar is described this way:

National Engagement Seminars for Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation will provide an overview for considerations, planning factors, and available resources, to craft a successful response plan for nuclear detonations. We'll provide updates on guidance for a wider range of nuclear detonations, including larger detonations and air bursts.

Included in the event resources on the seminar announcement is a 241-page PDF document titled, "Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation." This document begins with a narrative about a nuclear detonation near "Metropolis City." It describes the reactions of the fictional city's first responders as events happen, making it clear that this is scenario-based training:

This Narrative is a fictional depiction of how a nuclear detonation might unfold in a modern United States city. The intention is to emphasize that preparedness is achievable and can save many lives.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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