Rogers and Washington County Health Departments and Emergency Management Services conducted an emergency preparedness exercise Wednesday, November 18th and Thursday, November 19th. Wednesday’s exercise was named Earth, Wind, and Fire; it prepared all emergency partners in Annex H activities, including a notification and immediate assembly of Area Command Staff and activation of the Public Health Emergency Operations Center. Area Command Staff demonstrated their ability to contact local pharmacies for assets, tiered priority prophylaxis of Area Command & Points of Distribution (PODs) staff and support personnel. Other Thursday activities included mobilizing of the PODs and receipt of assets and medical material management.
Friday’s exercise was a test of our POD capability. It prepared Health Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Area Command to operationalize two PODs within the Regional Administration District, apportionment of Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) assets to activated PODs, complete prophylaxis, Just in Time Training of Area Command, POD staff, volunteers, and First Responders, demonstrated security of POD sites, inventory management, opening a drive-thru dispensing to 102 households each at two POD sites using Real Opts Modeling within one hour, and demobilizing of the PODs.
The exercise simulated an anthrax incident during a county school sporting event. Students from each school and other volunteers from the communities assisted with the drive thru dispensing of prophylaxis. Caney Valley School and Oologah Fire Department are the two PODS that participated in this exercise. Emergency personnel and health department staff fulfill the roles of Area Command, POD, and Annex H Staff and were all active in this exercise. Both days of the exercises were successful in demonstrating community preparedness, medical dispensing and management, emergency operations coordination, and responder safety and health.