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Are you prepared for the a€?big onea€™ a€“ an earthquake a€“ or a fire, flood, or other disaster? It may have been a drill, but Wednesday’s emergency simulation was treated as the real deal — even those not directly involved were treated as if there was an emergency.
The scenario was like something out of an action film, but there was no Bruce Willis to save the day — it was all local. The scenario, CBJ Emergency Programs Manager Tom Mattice said, was a barge carrying explosives that ran into a cruise ship at the A-J dock. Twenty-six “patients” were admitted to BRH, and the Red Cross and university set up a shelter at Auke Bay. A secondary scenario took place at the home of KTOO-FM, an improvised explosive device that triggered the evacuation of the station and the response of Juneau Police Department, who determined the IED was dangerous and disposed of it. Emergency response was tested in areas including waterside and portside security, emergency medical services, shelter accomodation, as well as handling hazardous materials and explosives. He said city departments always train for mass casualty disasters, but this scenario brought in special units. In Wednesday’s scenario, response was limited to local resources, so nobody would be called in from Elmendorf Air Force Base, for example.
Temple Joanna Jackson is a longtime Red Cross volunteer asked to respond during the exercise.

While the big picture means providing for the safety of people affected by an emergency, responders handle countless other details, from setting up various stations at a shelter to helping people get in touch with family members and organizing new volunteers on the spot, Jackson said. While the response times and reactions were what they had hoped for, Mattice said responders are always looking for ways to improve.
This year, the American Red Cross wants you to add one more resolution to your list — to make 2015 the year you get prepared for emergencies and disasters. If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. For your emergency supply needs, visit Major Survival and mention 'COPE' for a 10% discount. Emergency responders from the City and Borough of Juneau, Coast Guard Sector Juneau, Bartlett Regional Hospital, the University of Alaska Southeast and the American Red Cross participated in the event.
Officers told the Empire it was just a drill, but no information could be revealed and press was forbidden from crossing the orange plastic barriers.
According to a CBJ press release, the exercise was to test the capability of Juneau’s emergency responders in a safe training environment. She excused herself from a work meeting to participate and got across town in about 20 minutes, she said. Working with a number of agencies, multiple call centers and dispatch areas in a complicated and chaotic situation, Mattice said they always learn a lot and grow a lot during a drill, but they also isolate areas where improvements could be made.

Plan what to do in case everyone is separated, and choose two places to meet — one right outside the home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside the neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.
Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassable. Apps currently available include first aid as well as apps that give real-time information on what to do before, during and after a hurricane, tornado, wildfire, flood or earthquake. Jackson was one of many volunteers who helped set up a shelter at the UAS Recreation Center. Remember that emergencies like fires, earthquakes and blackouts can happen anywhere, so everyone should be prepared for them. FREE Emergency a€?starter kitsa€? will be given to the first 200 attendees and prize drawings throughout the event.

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