Training exercise focused on New Madrid Seismic Zone earthquake

Poplar Bluff community prepares for natural disaster
Published: Aug. 22, 2016 at 9:20 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2016 at 10:55 PM CDT
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POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Public Safety is sponsoring a series of training exercises in the state focused on earthquake preparedness.

The exercise is called "Show-Me Mass Care," which included roughly 50 state and federal agencies to make up a National Mass Care Series Exercise.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri National Guard, Missouri Department of Transportation and Department of Health and Senior Services are several agencies included in the 50 participating.

"We do live on the New Madrid Seismic Zone, and knowing that, we need to be as prepared as we can," Robbie Myers, Butler County EMA Director said.

While the exercise is aimed at an earthquake, Myers said the preparation goes far beyond just that.

"If we're prepared for an earthquake that helps our appropriation, rather it's a flood, or a tornado or others," Myers said.

Myers also said sometimes "what if" situations in training can get ignored, but they're still important.

"A whole lot of times the what ifs and you say 'what's the point,' well the point is, most disasters hopefully aren't that big, so you get as prepared as you can on the smaller things," Myers said. "If you can take care of the smaller things, the bigger things don't become as big of an obstacle to overcome."

While Logistics personnel were busy requesting services, medical professionals practiced with volunteers, role playing their injuries.

"They said if we were in green we were gonna live, yellow injured, red could possible die, and black you would just die," Jaydon Everts of Poplar Bluff said.

Other volunteers say they are glad to see there's a plan just in case something does go wrong.

"I'm not really going to worry about it happening, but it's glad to know something like this is available if it does," Carlene Williams said.

Eli Dodson echoed the thought.

"Oh I think the likelihood is very great that we will experience an earthquake at some time," Eli Dodson said. "We have tremors all the time and I think the role play we went through today has been very helpful in opening our eyes to lots of resources available that we were not aware of prior to this event."

Myers said while the exercise was for professionals, families can be prepared as well.

Packing things such as water and food for 72-hours per person, and flash lights with extra batteries.

Myers also said having a talk with your family about meeting locations is also good practice.

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