Area health departments test regional emergency preparedness

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NEWS RELEASE

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Health Departments around the metro have joined area hospitals, regional employers and state, federal and local community partners to test their emergency plans and staff readiness throughout this week in a regional exercise that involves 17 local jurisdictions.

On Thursday, members of the public are encouraged to participate as volunteers to test the capabilities of a drive-through clinic between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The drive-through clinic will be at Fire Station 7 in Independence, Mo., just south of Adventure Oasis Water at 2206 Hub Drive.

Because this is a drive-through clinic, volunteers must be in a vehicle to participate.

Volunteers may pre-register online at https://www.dispenseassist.net/anthrax.html. Once you have completed registration, click on “Get Voucher”; make sure to print this voucher and bring it signed and dated to the exercise on April 11. Volunteer time should be less than 10 minutes.

The first 100 volunteers will receive a gift card to a local restaurant and a free public health supply kit.

Most of the local metro area health departments receive funding through the federal Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) to develop plans for how to respond to a large-scale bioterrorist attack or pandemic by dispensing medicine or treatment through the Strategic National Stockpile to the entire population of a metropolitan statistical area within 48 hours. CRI funds these emergency preparedness programs in the nation’s largest cities and metropolitan areas that make up more than half of the U.S. population.

Each year, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention evaluate the plans developed and maintained by the local health departments. Part of that evaluation involves how well the multiple jurisdictions in the metropolitan area work together in testing their plans.

For more information on Cities Readiness Initiative, the Strategic National Stockpile or bioterrorism attacks, please visit http://www.bt.cdc.gov/cri/ .

For more information on a specific health department’s emergency plans, contact that health department directly.

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