Special Medical Needs Shelter Drill

Iredell County
  • North Carolina

In February 2008, the Iredell County Health Department took advantage of a county exercise to test its ability to set-up and run a special medical needs shelter. The exercise scenario was a severe winter storm with significant ice accumulation causing power outages throughout the county. Iredell County Health Department set up a mock special medical needs shelter at the health department, with extra health department staff acting as potential evacuees. Prior to the drill itself, health department staff inventoried necessary supplies and contacted local social services to discuss shelter staffing. During the drill, the health department discovered the need to identify reliable sources of potable water, increase the number of available staff for the shelter, get additional signage for the shelter, and revise certain forms. After the exercise, staff completed a hot wash and after-action report, which included a corrective action plan.