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emergency preparedness
OmnilertDec 31, 2013 9:25:00 AM3 min read

Organizations strive to improve emergency preparedness

Managing crisis situations can be especially difficult when adequate preparations have not been made. In order to ensure that their communities are as ready for emergencies as possible, two organizations are taking steps to improve preparedness. These efforts may serve as examples of ways to get ready in case disaster strikes.

Shooter scenario exercise in Iowa

Mahaska Health Partnership recently announced that it will test ability to respond to a shooter situation by running a drill involved emergency trained staff members, Oskaloosa News reported. Exercise participants have gone through Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate training. MHP staff engaged in the ALICE program in order to help them prepare for a scenario with an active shooter, according to MHP Director of Emergency Services Andrea Hagist.


When the 15-minute drill is completed, the procedures employed during the exercise will be evaluated and discussed by MHP staff. The meeting aims to discern which aspects of the response could be enhanced and what went satisfactorily.


"This exercise will provide staff an opportunity to assess organizational plans and procedures developed to respond to an active shooter," Hagist said. "Having an emergency response plan in a hospital, where saving lives is the main focus, is crucial for protecting our patients and visitors to the best of our ability."


New York preparedness program in the works

A volunteer program that focuses on specific disasters is being created by the United Way of the Adirondack Region, Inc., according to Denton Publications. As a part of the endeavor, disaster volunteer resources will be organized and broadened with the help of the North Country Regional Volunteer Center's current infrastructure. 


"The Disaster Preparedness Program will collaborate with Federal and State government and voluntary, faith-­based, and community entities on a regional level to provide training, resources and skilled volunteer recruitment to the counties in our region," Assemblywoman Janet Duprey said.


The program will span seven counties: Hamilton, Essex, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Clinton, Lewis and Jefferson. A variety of area groups have stated that they will assist during a crisis situation, though they they differ in the amount of planning and aid that they are able to offer.


Coordinating volunteers and resources can be an effective way of preparing for emergencies, as can engaging in simulations and exercises prior to a real crisis. These measures can be further supplemented by mass notification systems that use text message alerts, such as Omnilert. Emergency messaging tools like these can help citizens and officials can stay connected in the event of a disaster.