Regional exercise will test county preparedness

In the face of a pandemic, how prepared is Auglaize County? That is the topic of conversation between county health, law and safety agencies as they anticipate an upcoming Northwestern Ohio widespread disease, mass fatality exercise.

“We put together a planning committee to design the exercise,” Auglaize County Health Commissioner Charlotte Parsons said about the health departments and hospitals in the 18-county region.

The planning began in November 2013.

“We did have an influenza epidemic in 2009 with the H1N1, and ultimately that turned out not nearly as bad as it could have been,” Parsons said. “So, we’re trying to use what lessons we learned then for the big one, when it comes.”

Parsons said the four-hour, functional exercise to be held on April 9 will focus on answering the “what ifs” about a mass fatality situation. Health departments, hospitals, emergency management agencies, sheriff offices, funeral homes, and other area leaders in the 18-county area will be working both together and independently to find their strengths and weaknesses in the scenario.

The Auglaize County Local Emergency Planning Committee organized a discussion to formulate a plan for the day of the exercise.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, March 19 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.