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Emergency management prepares for shelter drill

Staff Reports

Practice will get you to Carnegie Hall or safely sheltered in the event of a catastrophe.

On March 18, the Douglas County Community & Senior Center will be the location of an evacuation drill as part of a collaboration between Douglas County Emergency Management and the Red Cross of Northern Nevada.

Emergency managers from Carson City, Lyon and Storey counties will also be involved in setting up emergency shelters at the Carson City Fairgrounds, located at 601 Clear Creek Road.

“The purpose of the exercise is to test the community’s resilience and allow for local emergency coordinators to test working together to ensure safe adequate shelters and the safety of citizens in real emergency situations,” Douglas spokeswoman Melissa Blosser said. “The simulation will require Douglas County and Carson City Emergency Management to request shelters be up and running for evacuees and their pets.”

The Community and Senior Center will be open for regular business and all facilities will be open as usual during the exercise.

Residents are welcome to observe and participate in this event at either of the locations.

There has been a call for participants to portray residents seeking shelter at the center.

Blosser said the disaster training has been in planning for months through the efforts of the American Red Cross, Douglas County Emergency Management, East Fork Fire, Carson City Emergency Management, Carson City Fire Department, Carson City Health and Human Services, and the Quad-County Public Health Preparedness program.

“Each shelter will be fully activated as it would be during a real emergency, bringing many agencies together to provide the services our communities would need during an emergency situation,” Blosser said.

The American Red Cross is required to test its capacity to shelter victims of natural disasters on an annual basis. Each exercise must demonstrate that resources are in place to house a minimum of two hundred people in two different locations. Such practice-runs are paramount to ensure success when a real disaster strikes.

“We are hosting this simulation to test the sheltering capacity of the Red Cross along with how the community would help support our efforts,” said Jill Hemenway, the disaster program manager for the American Red Cross of Northern Nevada. “We invited other local organizations to participate so that we would be familiar with services, points of contacts, and understand the full scope of our resources. This simulation will be a great tool for our local community.”

For more information contact Jennifer Sparks at (702)-376-9411 or jennifer.sparks2@redcross.org.