Mock disaster Saturday to test Red Cross response

Sonny Long

Feb. 23, 2011 at 5 p.m.
Updated Feb. 22, 2011 at 8:23 p.m.

A tornado is going to hit the Greenbriar Addition Saturday morning.

Luckily for neighborhood residents, the tornado and the destruction it will bring are part of a statewide mock disaster drill conducted by the American Red Cross.

The Crossroads Chapter in Victoria is one of 23 across the state taking part in Saturday's drill.

Staff and volunteers will react to the simulated destruction of homes and other property and the possibilities of injuries when the "tornado" strikes, said Linda May, emergency services director.

"It's critical that we have an accurate assessment of impacted homes as quickly as possible," said May. "That step tells us how many meals need to be prepared, how many volunteers need to be activated, how many shovels and rakes we need to have on hand and so much more. It drives the entire Red Cross response."

"Without question, this drill will help the Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross be better prepared for future disasters," May said. "We saw with Tropical Storm Hermine that disasters can and do affect the entire state. The more we train through exercises like this one, the more we can help our neighbors when they truly need us."

The Red Cross, with the help of local ham radio operators, will report its "disaster" assessments to state Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials.

The Second Baptist Church, 1802 Lone Tree Road, will serve as Red Cross headquarters during the exercise.

Flyers have been posted around the Greenbriar neighborhood notifying residents of the drill and a Neighborhood Watch meeting was also held to inform residents, May said.



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