While actively responding to disasters elsewhere, Direct Relief prepared for disasters closer to home this week by participating in the 2012 Statewide Medical and Health Training and Exercise program with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and local hospitals and clinics. Simulating a large earthquake in the Santa Barbara area, Direct Relief responded to resource requests for medical supplies and shelter supplies.
As part of the exercise, Direct Relief worked with the Public Health Department transport supplies and set up a mock field treatment site in downtown Santa Barbara. Volunteers from the local medical community, including members of the Santa Barbara Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), utilized the field treatment site and supplies to treat mock victims.
The exercise itself follows several months of planning and training and is designed to increase access to healthcare in an emergency by practicing disaster preparedness plans, supporting local collaboration, and making improvements going forward. Recent and developing lessons from Superstorm Sandy, such as shortage of electricity and fuel, have been integrated into the exercise.