SAN ANTONIO -

While the State of Oklahoma has taken a lead role in a response effort after Monday’s tornado, the federal government and FEMA are now also stepping in to help.  

Should FEMA require assistance, that assistance would come from right here in San Antonio. 

Fort Sam Houston is headquarters for the United States Army North and its response effort.

Whether it was the chemical explosion in West, Texas, or Mother Nature’s fury in Moore, Okla., the federal government has been asked to assist.  

The government’s role was redefined during disasters in 2005.

"We took a lot of lessons learned from Katrina,” said Major Gen. Perry Wiggins, deputy commander general for United States Army North.

According to Wiggins, the government is much better prepared almost eight years later.

"We've instituted some things that made us a better response mechanism for the people and for disasters,” said Wiggins.

For now, U.S. Army North is on standby, but constantly preparing for the next big disaster. 

On Wednesday, the command center at Fort Sam Houston was busy holding a simulation, responding to a scenario of two land-falling hurricanes and the damage left behind.

"There's always some new twist and that’s why this exercise is important,” said Col. Lawrence Madkins, director of operations of plans and training for the exercises.

Exercises, like this one, are held on a regular basis and taken very seriously.

"The citizens of America deserve the best we can offer and that’s what we do,” said Madkins.

As part of the drill, U.S. Army North also readies state-of-the-art equipment that would be used in the event of a disaster.  

The Super Sentinel is a mobile command center based at Fort Sam Houston. 

It is one of only two in the country and is an important tool used for communicating during a disaster. 

Meanwhile, U.S. Army North will be watching the response in Oklahoma very closely.

"We're standing by to support whenever they need and whatever they need,” said Wiggins.

For a list of recent stories Justin Horne has done, click here.