Agencies Practice Emergency Drill for Mock Tornado Crisis
By: Emily Goggins
Morgan County Emergency Management, in conjunction with The National Guard, will be conducting a “like real” scenario for in the event an F3 tornado were to touch down and plow through Fort Morgan starting April 3rd – April 6th. The week long simulated response will include participation from the RE-3 School district as the direct point will start at Columbine Elementary. Although school will not be in session during the first day of this drill, the anticipated path of destruction will follow with Baker Elementary, Morgan County Communication Center, Sherman Early Childhood Center, and Cargill Beef Corporation.
The crisis training will test the effectiveness of broadcasting the emergency to students, staff, visitors, parents, and community members as well as showcase the swift actions needed to ensure evacuation to safe locations and the accountability for all students and staff within each classroom. Practicing these implemented emergency plans will test the trial tactic of identifying injured victims including any acting as fatalities and how teams can promptly transport these individuals to the needed medical facilities. Personnel from the district will be playing out these various roles to improve preparedness for such a catastrophic event. Community members are advised that they may witness an abundance of military members, equipment and even teams such as Hazmat. Many may be subject to noise from helicopters and emergency response vehicles.
Other locations that may be affected by the drill include a water rescue in the South Platte River near or off of Rainbow Bridge and Riverside Park. Residents can expect road closures which will be marked and labeled with signs a week in advance. Be cautious of any delays this may cause in your normal traffic route.
There are 2,000 expected participants including the facilities and organizations: American Red Cross, Colorado Plains Medical Center, Centennial Mental Health, Banner Health, City of Brush, Brush Police Department, City of Fort Morgan Police Department, Morgan County Sherriff’s Office, Morgan County Board of Commissioners, Morgan County Coroner’s Office, Morgan County Ambulance, local fire agencies, Fort Morgan Airport, Valley View Villa, Weld County Resources, Northeast Region EOC Support Team, CDOT, North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Colorado Department of Corrections, The Salvation Army, and including the institutions mentioned beforehand.
This exercise is not open to the public however we encourage community members to help spread awareness of this disaster training by going to our county website: www.colorado/gov clicking on the photo slide roll panel on the homepage to view this press release and have the ability to translate into over thirty-two different languages. Witnesses can follow @MorganEMA, @COEmergency, as well as @TheNationalGuard and can post any pictures using hashtags: #StateofCO, #AlwaysReadyAlwaysThere and #MyMomentinMOCO.