Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 8:09am
Simulated Extreme Heat Emergency Scenario Helped Build Community Links
When summer temperatures rise to dangerous levels, both individuals and communities are at risk. A community's ability to deal with such a heat emergency can make a huge difference in protecting its most vulnerable residents. In response to the need to be prepared, The Allied Wellness Center - Welcome Program, Public Health Madison and Dane County and other emergency response agencies conducted a heat emergency drill in the Allied neighborhood on July 10, from 6-8 pm.
The drill was a test situation that assumed dangerously high temperatures combined with a power outage. The response began with the activation of a phone tree; a pre-planned sequence of phone calls that make sure an individual in a building from the Welcome Program on Allied Dr. is notified. These individuals, or "Welcomers," then passed the information along to the residents in their respective apartment buildings. Allied neighborhood residents volunteered to act out different special needs scenarios likely to occur in the event of such an emergency.
The drill was designed to assist Welcomers in problem solving and communicating with residents and emergency responders in the event of a real emergency. Training was provided to Welcomers to identify residents with special needs and report these needs to responders at a simulated police station set up at the Boys and Girls Club.
During the drill debriefing Madison Police Officer Sam Ward reported that the Welcomers' information was very helpful, and that "its good to have as much information as possible" during an emergency. For more information on community participation for such exercises, call Helen Pope at 243-0324.
NEWS RELEASE FROM PUBLIC HEALTH MADISON & DANE COUNTYContacts:
- Jennifer Weitzel , (608) 243-0362
- Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302