MCHD’s Emergency Preparedness team participates in simulated exercise 04.08.2024

April 8, 2024

MCHD’s Emergency Preparedness team participates in simulated exercise

MOBILE, Ala. — Mobile County Emergency Management Agency hosted a FEMA Integrated Emergency Management Center training session from April 1 through 4 that concluded with a day-long simulated exercise.

Through the FEMA exercise, 90 people representing 43 organizations worked together to solve complex scenario-based emergency management problems and practice having a coordinated response before an actual emergency event. Participants worked through processes related to resource management and coordination, communications, public information, mass care, infrastructure, law enforcement, transportation, and more.

Among those participants was the Mobile County Health Department’s Emergency Preparedness team.

“During the IEMC course, MCHD presented on what the roles and responsibilities are of public health when activated in the EOC,” said Erin Coker, RN, BSN, the administrator for the MCHD team. “Points addressed were the responsibility of operating a Medical Needs Shelter, providing public health input where needed and the role of the Healthcare Coalition. I also spoke on previous activations and what we did during COVID while activated for 14 months there.”

Coker said that during the exercise, the team was divided into different groups. Coker participated in the Policy Group and provided input from a leadership perspective, while the rest of the EP team (Latosia Turnbough and Shannon Faye) and the Safety Officer for MCHD (Daniel Stombaugh) were players for Mass Care and Logistics.

“This was a great opportunity to meet new people and build working relationships before we are activated,” Coker said. “Gaps were identified in planning, activation, and response for all Emergency Support Functions in attendance. These gaps will help us to improve our response efforts when a real event occurs.”

An experienced instructional team from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute led the Mobile County training and conducted the simulated exercise.

“Exercises like this help the Emergency Operations Center team improve the ability to function in the event of a disaster. Simulations help participating organizations build depth so we can best serve our community in the event of an extended disaster or other emergency,” said Mobile County EMA Director Mike Evans.