Friday, May 6th, 2011

The Morris County Office of Health Management, in collaboration with the Northwest Region health departments, will conduct an emergency preparedness exercise on Saturday, May 14, at Craigmeur Recreation Complex on Green Pond Road in Rockaway Township.

The exercise is a collaboration involving the Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren county health departments.

Medical Reserve Corps and Community Emergency Response Team volunteers along with emergency response staff from each county will participate in the drill, setting up mass vaccination and antibiotic distribution clinics, according to Morris County Health Officer Carlos Perez.

The exercise involves a hurricane, influenza and a bioterrorist event, Perez said.

“The goals of this exercise are to develop the capacity to respond to public health emergencies as a region, to share resources and to enhance existing emergency preparedness plans,” Perez said.

The Northwest Region health departments have an excellent working relationship and have collaborated on various public health events in the past, Perez said. However, this will be the first time that that the region will collaborate to conduct an exercise, he said.

Although the exercise is an elaborate one, Perez said it provides all of the scenarios for such a large-scale drill.