County Health Departments partner up for flood preparation training in mid-Missouri

Teams say communication strategies are key to handling disasters

County Health departments partner up for flood preparation training in mid-Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Current storm conditions in mid-Missouri have brought with them a chance of flash flooding.

On Wednesday, the Cole County Health Department started preparing for its annual emergency response team training with a focus on flooding, in the event this disaster ever happens in mid-Missouri.

"It helps us think, well, what supplies do we need? What do we need for communication? What if power is out? How are we going to locate and track each other?" director of the Cole County Health Department, Dr. Marie Peoples told ABC 17 News.

Peoples said tracking and communication is at the center of being able to effectively handle a flooding disaster.

In the event the power goes out, and all other means of communication are unavailable, the emergency response team sets up a communication truck.

"They can actually set the truck up, pull 12 telephone system lines off, 12 laptop computers off, and feed all that right off the truck, all satellite," Bill Farr with Cole County Emergency Management said.

Farr said the truck is crucial in these types of circumstances because it's how they are able to find out what supplies are needed and where.

On Thursday they will continue preparing by setting up mock stations to resemble a real flood situation.

The Emergency Response Team also told ABC 17 News they have supplies and teams ready for not only flood disasters, but also fires, mass casualities and situations where hazardous materials are involved.

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