COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – You could be anywhere when an emergency or disaster strikes without notice but having a plan of action can save your life.
The Columbus Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency coordinated a mock disaster Wednesday morning on MUW’s campus. East Mississippi Community College also participated in the event, allowing first responders the chance to react when there is more than one crisis to be handled at a time.
Cindy Lawrence is the Director for the Columbus Lowndes Emergency Managment Agency.
“We hosted the event to determine our ability to communicate with each other and share information. That’s the biggest thing. We wanted to use mutual aide from other counties such as Clay County, Oktibbeha County and see if we could coordinate our resources and our information.” says Lawrence.
A mock bomb threat was called in to EMCC while an explosion was simulated at MUW. MUW Nursing students got the chance to utilize their emergency aide skills with injured volunteers. Columbus Fire and Rescue also played a major role.
“The Fire Department’s initial role is always going to be life safety. We’ll come in and initially we’ll fold our operations in with BMH paramedics. We’ll do a patient triage and packaging for transport,” says Duane Hughes of Columbus Fire and Rescue.
The Fire Department will also conduct building searches in the event of structural collapse and search for hazardous materials or chemical weapons. Hughes says the public can also help by doing these things.
“Abstaining from the use of social media. Propagating any rumors and unsubstantiated facts. Also staying clear of the scene, as difficult as that may be, especially with family members involved,” says Hughes.
Fema requires emergency agency to hold at least three drills per year. For more information on emergency preparedness, go to www.ready.gov.