Napolitano: US Drills for Disasters Like Japan's

By Staff | March 15, 2011 | 4:27 PM EDT

Denver (AP) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says U.S. emergency agencies constantly rehearse for a disaster like the one unfolding in Japan, and American first responders will learn from the experience of their Japanese counterparts.

Napolitano says the United States was already planning a drill based on a hypothetical major earthquake along the New Madrid fault in the U.S. when the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear-reactor crisis struck Japan.

She says the drill will be in May.

Napolitano, speaking Tuesday at a conference in Denver, said it's too soon to say whether U.S. agencies will change their procedures based on the disaster in Japan.

She says the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Energy have told her Japan's response to the nuclear crisis is the same the U.S. would take.