Foster City CERT to Work with County in Emergency Preparedness Exercise
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For Immediate Release: April 02, 2013

On April 18, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon, the San Mateo County Health System will partner with Foster City Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and response teams throughout San Mateo County to simulate the delivery of large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to homes of residents. Volunteers and agencies throughout the County will participate in the drill to assess their readiness to provide timely emergency assistance in the event of a major health emergency such as Pandemic Influenza, a food or water-borne illness, or the intentional release of a bio-agent.

In Foster City, CERT Teams will be canvassing portions of neighborhoods 4, 5 and 6, covering approximately 1,800 homes. The hubs of activity (the Incident Command Posts) will be at Ketch, Farragut and Catamaran Parks.

The exercise, known as the Silver Dragon VII Emergency Drill will test the Health System’s ability to partner with local cities, law enforcement, fire departments, the American Red Cross and CERT teams for mass-dispensing of medicine from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). To test door-to-door distribution as realistically as possible, CERT teams will distribute education information in re-usable, eco-friendly shopping bags, simulating medicine that could be delivered following a health-related emergency. Results from the exercise will be shared with other health agencies.

Last year’s Silver Dragon VI exercise tested how long it took to visit 15,000 homes countywide and this year the group will try to improve on last year’s time. To test its mobile kitchen, San Mateo Medical Center’s food service staff will prepare food for the volunteers, which would be used at the hospital in the event of an emergency.

In addition to testing the Health System’s ability to distribute medications, the exercise will test how quickly San Mateo County receives the CDC’s stockpile medicines and medical supplies. The SNS would be deployed in the event of a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. Once Federal and local authorities agree that the SNS is needed, medicines can be delivered to any state in the U.S. within 12 hours. While waiting for the SNS shipment to arrive, San Mateo County is prepared to distribute medicine and supplies from its own pharmaceutical stockpile.

Media is welcome to observe the exercise. To learn more, contact Robyn Thaw at (650) 573-3935. 

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Participating Agencies:

SF Bay Area American Red Cross, Belmont, Cal Fire, Calif. Highway Patrol, Coastside CERT, City of Brisbane, East Palo Alto, City of Foster City, Menlo College, Menlo Park Fire Protection District, Millbrae Fire Department, North County Fire Authority, Pacifica Police Department, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services, San Mateo Fire Department, San Mateo Medical Center, South San Francisco Fire Department

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