WICKENBURG (May 7, 2013) – The American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter, with the Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management, partook in a Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station drill Tuesday in Wickenburg, simulating the processing of a large population exposed to radiation.
More than 200 emergency responders from state, local and volunteer agencies, including more than 25 representing the Red Cross, repeated a March 12 dress rehearsal, this time with evaluation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency – mandated every two years. The Red Cross practiced a mass care operation, staffing a reception and care center at Wickenburg High School and a shelter at the First Southern Baptist Church of Wickenburg. It also supported feeding, and it had workers in health services, mental health, logistics, communications, public information and Safe and Well.
Actors at the reception and care center were scanned for radiation exposure, then they were treated by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health if they were contaminated. Wickenburg High School would be used if there was a real-life disaster at Palo Verde, as 13,000 people live within a 10-mile radius of the plant. Other participating agencies in the exercise were the Arizona Department of Economic Security, the Arizona Division of Emergency Management, the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency, Maricopa County Animal Care & Control, the Maricopa County Emergency Communication Group, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the Phoenix Community Emergency Response Team, the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Town of Wickenburg and Valley Metro.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. It’s a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Grand Canyon Chapter, established in 1916, re-chartered in 1999 and expanded in 2003, ranks as the fifth-largest chapter nationally, serving the more than 5.1 million people in Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties. For more information on the Grand Canyon Chapter, please visit www.redcross.org/gcc, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcrossgcc or follow us on Twitter under the handle @RedCrossGCC.