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OC Health Dept. And Others Practice Assistance In The Face Of A Disaster


Dozens of people met near Rhinelander Thursday afternoon to practice something they hope they never have to do. 

The Oneida County Health Department led a Mock Family Disaster exercise to see if their emergency plan setting up a Family Assistance Center is workable in case the real thing occurs. Volunteers were simulating a large scale fire.

Public Health Assistant Director Marta McMillion says this simulation is designed around a large-scale fire. There's a central location where a number of services are provided...

"In order to provide resources to those families and potentially victims. We would potentially open it up during a mass casualty event, weather related incident. Something in which families or families are needing resources..."

Credit WXPR
Marta McMillion

She led the media into one room...

"...Our first-aid EMS room. Lets say someone is displaced and they need their insulin. In that room is where they would connect with someone who could potentially get them that insulin..."

Several other rooms are set up to provide other needed services. McMillion says they based part of the planning on another tragedy...

"We are using some examples from the Las Vegas shooting. They opened a Family Assistance Center shortly after that mass shooting. It stayed open for months, weeks, This is a smaller scale than that, but we're definitely taking some lessons learned and ideas from them as well..."

McMillion says the idea is to find problems and fix them before the need arises. She says they would like to get the Assistance Center up and running as quickly as possible.

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