Red Cross workers took part in a two-day, multi-agency exercise on April 30 and May 1 to prepare residents and emergency responders in Summit County for wildfires and other disasters.
Led by the Summit County Sheriff’s office, the full-scale exercise provided an opportunity for numerous agencies to practice a coordinated response to a mock wildfire scenario, and the exercise also offered opportunities for the public to practice their evacuation plans and gather for valuable preparedness information.
As part of the exercise, Red Cross volunteers set up and operated a mock evacuation center and a mock shelter, and Red Cross preparedness experts coordinated a preparedness fair where local residents could ask questions and get help preparing themselves and their community for disasters. Red Cross disaster leadership also participated alongside other emergency agencies in mock disaster response planning and logistics as well as a post-exercise debrief and recovery discussion. Finally, the Red Cross also practiced feeding operations with the Salvation Army: the Salvation Army set up a mobile kitchen to feed workers, and the Red Cross delivered meals remotely.
“We have witnessed the effectiveness of having multi-agency exercises like this before disaster strikes – in communities where we have drilled and practiced together, we have been able to mount a more effective, seamless, efficient response and are better prepared to serve our residents in their time of need,” said Jody Acres, Disaster Area Manager for the Red Cross Mile High Region.