The exercise is designed to test Spalding County’s Point of Distribution Plan, which was developed to assist in events where the mass distribution of goods and services requires coordinated and efficient execution.
Numerous state, county and city agencies participated in the drill, as a backup Emergency Operation Center was set up inside the Spalding County Health Department.
“We are operating everything from here (during the 24-hour exercise),” said Spalding County Fire Chief and Spalding County Homeland Security Director Kenny West, adding that personnel have been assigned to ensure that the site is staffed during the entire period of the drill, just as it would be operated during a real event.
While the Emergency Operation Center was not accessible for the public, many Spalding County residents still participated in the mass fatality exercise by getting a free flu vaccination.
According to Hayla Folden, public information officer for District 4 Health Services, people started lining up in their cars about 30 minutes prior to the start of the mass fatality exercise. By noon Wednesday, 249 flu shots had been administered, she said, out of 1,675 flu shots available for the drill.
“We had 50 (people) within the first half hour. I think they appreciate the convenience,” Folden said of the fact that residents didn’t have to leave their cars to receive the vaccination.
West said the message of the mass fatality exercise to the community is to be ready now.
“Get with your family and make your own disaster plan in the event of an emergency,” he said.