Washington state tests its ability to respond to a plague
Washington health officials are testing the state’s ability to respond to a plague this week.
“The situation, while very unlikely, allows us to do worst-case-scenario planning to see how fast we can receive these medications and supplies, break them down and get them to every county in the state,” said Julie Graham with the Department of Health.
The weeklong drill began Monday morning with a range of simulated supplies arriving at the Department of Health building in Tumwater. Staff are tasked with packaging and distributing the supplies by ground and air to participating health care centers, pharmacies, and 35 local health departments throughout the state.
The drill focuses on a plague to test elements of federal, state, and local emergency response plans.
“Maybe we identify some flaws, we incorporate those into our future plans,” Graham said. “But typically our exercises are on a lot smaller scale,” Graham said.
Graham notes, however, that people and families should keep an emergency kit ready in their own home.
“They always have a little extra supply of their important medicines, so that if there is an emergency and it takes a couple of days for emergency medial teams to reach them, they are not caught without their medicines,” she said.