Montgomery County BRAC coordinator Phil Alperson said a scheduled disaster drill today at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center will have minimal impact on traffic.

Exercise Hekla, named after one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, will test the medical center’s ability to set up portable medical facilities in the aftermath of a radiological attack or incident.

Alperson said there might be a noticeable increase in the number of emergency response vehicles outside the WRNMMC fence line.

After the drill, which will involve 70 staffers as mock disaster victims, there will be staff tours of the facility’s 25-bed rapid response shelter, a portable decontamination shelter.

The disaster scenario is slated to begin this morning, with a disturbance at the Uniformed Services University gate on Jones Bridge Road. It will then move to a ball field and test the ability of emergency responders to deal with an explosion resulting in multiple casualties.

Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) will react as first responders. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel will also take part in the drill.

Flickr pool photo by AmyMarieMoore