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Tornado Response Exercise to be Held in Union Grove

With severe weather season upon us, it’s always better to be prepared; therefore, the Red Cross will be conducting a simulated disaster respond exercise in Union Grove on Saturday, April 22. The traditional red-vested responders, mostly volunteers, from nine southeastern counties will practice responding to a mock tornado with the Union Grove-Yorkville Fire Department at 700 Main Street serving as the headquarters. Simulated disaster exercises, with fictitious damage to residential and community infrastructure, turns the initial classroom training into valuable hands-on experience, ultimately preparing them for true disaster responses throughout Wisconsin and across the country.

When a real disaster occurs, our disaster workers first complete a damage assessment to determine how much help is needed. Results are shared with numerous government agencies such as Emergency Management and other non-governmental agencies. Through collaboration, the Red Cross and other responding agencies decide how best to help the residents with short-term emergency needs and longer-term recovery plans.  For example, the Red Cross may open an overnight shelter, establish mobile feeding routes, provide clean-up materials, etc.  Meanwhile, government partners will restore power & utilities, clear roads and ensure drinking water is safe.

Red Cross responders will meet at the Fire Department at 8:30 AM.  After a morning briefing, they will form teams and travel by car or by foot to preassigned areas of the Village at 10:00 AM.  Each team will travel through neighborhoods collecting the “imaginary degree of damage” to buildings. They will then log the information into handheld technology which is consolidated and instantly projected on a map display in the Fire Department.  Once all the neighborhoods have been assessed, the teams will reconvene at the Fire Department so the data can be assessed and shared.

In the event of inclement weather, the exercise will be on the following Saturday, April 29th.

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