One of a Kind Disaster Drill Held in Independence

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — If a flu epidemic hits the metro, will area pharmacies be ready? The Center for Disease Control used a pharmacy in Independence to test that scenario.

About 20 actors staged an exercise drill in viral disaster on Sunday morning.

“I am a 25-year-old girl who is waiting to get her prescription so she can go to work and I’m supposed to go cough on all the pharmacists,” said actor Stephanie Soendker.

They have all been given different roles in a play where the star is a pandemic outbreak of Influenza.

“I’m going to be a parent of a very irritated 9-year-old daughter that is trying to receive medicine,” said William Soendker, volunteer.

The prescriptions are filled with Skittles and M & M’s during the drill. The pressure is real and the mood inside the exercise was so intense that once the drill began, health officials wouldn’t allow FOX 4 cameras inside.

“They are coming in with a prescription and the pharmacy will try to fill the prescription,” said Bridgette Casey with Independence Health Department. “We are trying to see what kind of load they can handle.”

If they can handle this, they will be more prepared for a disaster. An epidemic similar to this drill did happen during the H1N1 outbreak.  Swine Flu taught health officials some valuable lessons that they applied during Sunday’s drill

One of those lessons is to have public health officials take a step back and let independent pharmacy’s like Matt’s Medical Store take a bigger role in saving the role.

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