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Exchange Club hears update on disaster help

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- Plans are under way to keep the Exchange Club of Albany updated and in practice to help in time of man-made or natural disaster.

Disaster and hazard preparedness officials Sue Clifton and Julie Miller spoke at the club's Friday meeting outlining how the members could be useful. The club members were invited to help plan and take part in a disaster practice exercise possibly in March of 2012.

In case of a major natural disaster or a man-made attack such as the distribution of anthrax, preparations to bring medical supplies to the area within a 48-hour window will depend on the coordination of health and law enforcement professionals and the Exchangites.

"We would have four teams," said Clifton, training and exercise coordinator for the Office of Hazards Preparedness. "Logistics, security, traffic and communications."

Because Exchangites are experienced in all of the areas, they would be able to help with planning and execution during a disaster, said Miller, Public Health's emergency preparedness director.

"You have experience in your professional lives," Miller said, "and in your personal at the club."

The magnitude of putting on one of the largest fairs in Georgia Southwest Georgia gives club members experience in all four team areas.

Logistics: Supplies have to go where they are supposed to go when they are supposed to be there, whether it is a fair or disaster relief.

Security: The control of entry and exits is essential in keeping order during any event.

Traffic control: Parking and traffic always needs attention to keep everyone moving.

Communications: It is essential to keep everyone informed on where they should go and when they should be there to distribute vaccines, antitoxins and other medical supplies. Smaller communities must be well informed of what to do because they might not have the resources of Dougherty County.

In other business, the Exchangites contributed $500 to Lily Pad Sane Center, which serves Southwest Georgia's victims of sexual assault and child sexual abuse.