Silver Dragon emergency simulation prepares for bioattack

First responders, health officials and a team of volunteers participated in the fifth annual “Silver Dragon” emergency drill across San Mateo County, California, in a simulated effort to distribute aid to residents in wake of a disaster.

Over 10,000 homes were visited from Daly City to Redwood City to simulate the distribution of supplies and medicine from federal stockpiles. The actual materials distributed were materials containing kitchen fire safety information, ABC 7 News reports.

The San Mateo County Health System organized the exercise to test how the county would respond to a major natural disaster, airborne illness, widespread food contamination or a biological terrorist attack.

“Anything that would require us to distribute medical supplies to our citizens,” Jana Cranmer, a health department spokeswoman, said, according to ABC 7 News.

Around 60 health department staff members coordinated first responders from over 20 local fire and police departments with around 450 volunteers during the operation.

Some of the agencies involved included the San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services, the Belmont-San Carlos Fire Protection District, the Coastside Medical Reserve Corps, the Pacifica Police Department, the Half Moon Bay Police Department, the North County Fire Authority and the Pacifica Fire Department.

The drill lasted three hours after a scheduled 9 a.m. start time.