San Mateo County to conduct emergency drill

Emergency response teams in San Mateo County, California, will conduct a countywide exercise on April 17 to simulate the mass distribution of medicine during a health emergency.

Community emergency response teams will practice delivering large amounts of medicine and medical supplies to city residents during the drill. Volunteers and agencies throughout the county will partner with the San Mateo County Health System to assess the county's preparedness to provide emergency assistance in case of a disaster or other health emergency, MercuryNews.com reports.

The Silver Dragon VIII Emergency Exercise is meant to test the health system's readiness to partner with emergency, police, fire and Red Cross crews to distribute medicine from the Strategic National Stockpile. A multiagency response would be required in case of a food or waterborne illness, pandemic influenza or the release of a bioagent.

Community Emergency Response Teams will hand out informational material instead of medicine to test out door-to-door distribution. In 2013, CERT teams visited 14,000 homes countywide during a similar exercise.

The results of the exercise will be shared with other health agencies in the area.

Agencies participating in the drill include emergency, fire and police crews from Millbrae, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, South San Francisco, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, Foster City, Daly City, Brisbane and Pacifica, MercuryNews.com reports.