PITTSBURG — Emergency managers from the City of Pittsburg and Crawford County spent the better part of Wednesday discussing how to deal with a disaster — such as a Tornado.
The event — sponsored by the Kansas Division of Emergency Management— is called a tabletop emergency planning exercise which is to train key personnel on emergency procedures using a simulated scenario.
For this exercise a tornado hit Pittsburg.
First responders, utility agencies, hospital representatives and other agencies gathered around the table to talk about what each would do before, during and after the tornado.
The training began with before the “incident” occurred, up to several days before when meteorologists share stormy weather is headed toward the area, National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Griffin said. The weather updates would continue after the storm hits and the weather service would prepare the responders with information about incoming weather following the incident.
During the training, Griffin explained how the information will be shared to the various agencies involved during and after storms.
After the “tornado” hit, the agencies discussed where to turn off utilities, clearing roads and what to do with the injured. The State Incident Management Team will work with emergency management to take care of paperwork and information which will be sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as relieving the managers of duty for rest.
Crawford County Emergency Management Director Jason Vanbecelaere said the event is not only good for working the kinks out of existing plans, but also connecting the agencies, helping people put a face to names.
“It important to do this so everyone is on the same page and it is good networking, especially if someone is new,” he said.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.