MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont will be staging its largest ever emergency response drill later this month.

About 5,000 emergency responders will be participating in the nine-day exercise starting on July 25.

Emergency management officials say the drill will play out in 50 locations, such as state agencies, local communities, hospitals, the Burlington Airport and the Vermont National Guard.

Officials say the goal is to determine if there are gaps in the state's response to a catastrophic event.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says the state's emergency response capabilities are strong and the exercise will strengthen that response. He says Vermonters are likely to see increased National Guard, emergency management, and first responder activity during the drill.

[STORY BY: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]