Every September is recognized as National Preparedness Month. It serves as a reminder that disaster can strike anywhere and at any time. The month-long campaign encourages families across the country to take action and have a plan in place for when an emergency does happen.
Clermont County Public Health used Preparedness Month to practice its own emergency plan. On Tuesday, September 11, Clermont County Public Health participated in a full-scale exercise to practice their response to a county-wide emergency. The day consisted of setting up a point of dispensing (POD) location at the Clermont County Fairgrounds.
A POD is a location where medicine can quickly be given out to people who may have been exposed to a biological threat, such as anthrax. POD’s can also be set-up to quickly vaccinate lots of people from a disease such as the flu, during an epidemic.
“We hope we never have to set up a POD in a real situation,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “But, we do practice routinely, so that if we ever need to open a POD, we can do it as quickly and efficiently as possible”.
Once the POD was set up, 19 Clermont County Public Health staff members simulated giving out large amounts of vaccine to the public.
“While it is difficult to plan for every possible situation or scenario, our emergency response plan is constantly revised and updated to allow us to stay prepared for the emergencies that are most likely to affect public health in Clermont County,” said Nesbit.
In addition to the fairgrounds, Public Health has eight other POD locations throughout the county that can be used during an emergency. The last time a POD was opened in a real scenario in Clermont County was during the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak.
For more information on preparedness tips and how to set up your family’s own emergency plan, visit www.ready.gov.