Emergency disaster exercise next week

From Press Reports


Local emergency response agencies will be tested in a comprehensive disaster drill next week in Eupora.

Webster County will participate in the county-level “full-scale” exercise Oct. 9 to evaluate first responder actions against current response plans and capabilities for a mass incident.

The public should exercise due diligence Wednesday morning near Eupora High School while the exercise is taking place, according to Barry Rushing
, Webster County EMA director, and Richard Love, deputy EMA director.

The two said people should take note that the excess number of first response vehicles in the area is for an exercise and not a real incident. There is no cause for alarm, they said.

This exercise, directed by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, will simulate a tornado touchdown in the Eupora area. Simulated victims will be transported to the local hospital, which causes a surge capacity. The full-scale nature of the exercise allows all aspects of the response effort to be evaluated without placing any lives at risk.

Objectives of the exercise include testing the response of Eupora and Webster County law enforcement in traffic control and crowd control situations; response by Eupora Fire Department and any of the surrounding fire departments as deemed necessary; demonstrating the ability to triage and transport victims to an area hospital in a timely manner by North Mississippi EMS and evaluate the school’s notification system.

“As emergency preparedness professionals, school officials and public safety responders, we want to put the public’s mind at ease that we have thought through, and are prepared for, varying scenarios that could occur,” Rushing and Love said. “Having a written plan is the first step in preparing; exercising that plan is as important, allowing you to engage the people whom are part of it and then improving that plan.”

They added, “Our hope is that we will never have to use it but we want to plan for the worst and expect the best.”