Silver Dragon Emergency Exercise
County staff and local CERT members team up
On April 20, San Mateo County Health System staff will be joined by local CERT team members in a large preparedness exercise designed to practice how each group would respond during a major emergency.
The drill will help ensure the safety of San Mateo County residents-especially those who are vulnerable due to a medical condition-in the event of a major disaster, such as an earthquake, pandemic flu, catastrophic flood or prolonged power outage.
The exercise, known as the Silver Dragon Emergency Exercise, will test the Health System's ability to partner with local cities, law enforcement, fire departments, American Red Cross, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and Mosquito and Vector Control who will simulate going door-to-door to check in on residents in neighborhoods selected for this exercise.
Our Burlingame CERT Members, with others around the County, will be participating. This year's exercise will test the County's ability to effectively control mosquitos and other disease-spreading animals, as well as respond to an outbreak of a mosquito-borne disease like Zika virus. This has been an exceptionally wet rainy season and we expect more mosquitoes as a result. The exercise may change to a real event depending on the results of mosquito traps monitored by Mosquito & Vector Control.
To test door-to-door welfare checks as realistically as possible, CERT teams will distribute educational information and resources in reusable shopping bags to 16,000 homes, simulating how CERT members will operate in a real event. Results from the exercise will be shared with other health agencies to promote further learning and planning.
This exercise will also allow the amateur radio emergency communication group (Hams) to connect with various individuals strategically located throughout neighborhoods in the county.
Both CERT and Amateur Radio members are essential and valuable components in a whole community approach for response during major disasters.
The Silver Dragon exercise is sponsored by the San Mateo County's Health Department in cooperation with the County's Office of Emergency Services.