California county simulates terrorist attack

Volunteers in San Mateo County, California, recently helped local first responders conduct an emergency drill that tested the county's ability to distribute medication in the event of a disaster or terrorist attack.

Approximately 65 volunteers split into several groups to conduct a door to door simulated distribution. The volunteers distributed emergency preparedness brochures to local residents near Menlo College and Atherton, according to

In a real emergency, the teams would be handing out packets containing enough medical countermeasures to treat a family of four, according to Carol Parker, an emergency services specialist with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. The volunteers knocked on the doors of nearly 250 area residents between 9 a.m. and noon on the day of the drill.

The drill, known as "Silver Dragon," was intended to help evaluate the emergency procedures developed by the San Mateo County Health System, as well as the ability of local agencies to coordinate their actions when facing a major disaster. Public health officials have held similar emergency drills for six consecutive years.

Parker said that some disasters might require the establishment of a mass clinic, as opposed to a delivery chain.

"But if you had a pandemic or anthrax, then you need to go out into the neighborhoods rather than bringing the mass people together," Parker said, reports.