First responders prepare for the worst with mass evacuation practice

8 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Tuesday, November 29 2016 Nov 29, 2016 Tuesday, November 29, 2016 2:23:00 PM CST November 29, 2016 in News
By: Desiree' Evans, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY — More than 180 people from all over the state of Missouri gathered to talk about and practice what steps should be taken in case of a disaster involving children. 

The discussions are part of Children and Youth in Disasters Conference. The conference is designed for people who primarily help when disasters occur in Missouri. Disasters include natural disasters and traumatic events that occur within a school. 

Many of the people in attendance were part of law enforcement, child care agencies, social services and other state departments.

Director of Public and Legislative affairs for the Department of Mental Health Debra Walker said it's important that these types of conferences are held in order to know how to properly respond to emergencies. 

"If you just have written plans and you don't exercise them every now and again and connect with the people that bring the resources together during a disaster, then written plans are really no more than words on paper," Walker said. 

The conference consisted of breakout workshops but the main focus was the disaster simulation. The exercise consisted of the participants being evacuated from the Plaza Hotel and being taken to a local church for reunification. 

During the reunification process participants of the conference were given a different persona they had to portray. The scenario given for the exercise was a tornado hitting. The participants had to locate where they needed to be and who they needed to locate. 

State Emergency Management Agency worker Deb Hendricks was one of the people in charge of creating the different profiles for the conference goers. 

"The idea is we're showing how complicated it can be to get families back together after a disaster," Hendricks said. 

Hendricks said there are some plans in place now but her, along with the participants of the conference, want to figure out how to improve what happens after an emergency situation. 

Hendricks said one problem her department is working to figure is how to sort out legal issues between parents and children during an emergency.

"There are divorced parents who may or may not have custody," Hendricks explained. "There's a lot of confusion about 'is dad legally allowed to pick this child up or is that against a court order?'"

Preparedness Division Manager and conference participant Melissa Friel had to portray a 4 year-old who was separated from his mom during the tornado. Friel said it was an eye-opening experience and gave a suggestion to improve children finding their parents in case of an emergency.

"I think we would need more staff working with kids," Friel said. "Figuring out where to take them and how to communicate with them effectively."

Hendricks also said it is "critically important" have an individual family plan just in case of an emergency and also practice it. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - MarineParents.com, which is based in Columbia, helped grant a mother's wish for her fallen Marine, Cody Haley. 780... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 7:21:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Opponents of Missouri's right-to-work law are one step closer to having it delayed. A coalition of unions... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:40:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Hotels in Columbia are already over 95 percent full for the upcoming eclipse weekend. Megan McConachie, Strategic... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
CLINTON (AP) — A man accused of providing the weapon used to kill a western Missouri police officer is facing... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:23:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - It just got a lot easier to serve alcohol over the forthcoming eclipse weekend in Jefferson City.... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:16:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - A man was shot and killed at a trailer park outside the Sedalia city limits Thursday afternoon,... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:12:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A toddler and mother were thrown from a car and two other people were hurt in a... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:02:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — Missouri's Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson says he's considering running for state auditor. Richardson told The... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:17:32 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
SEDALIA - Sen. Roy Blunt agreed with some of President Trump's comments on Charlottesville, Virginia and condemned white supremacists on... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:02:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in Continuous News
SEDALIA — Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her potential Republican rival Attorney General Josh Hawley are meeting at the... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 2:46:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Missouri lawmaker who posted and later deleted a Facebook comment saying she hoped for... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 1:47:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
MARSHFIELD (AP) — A search warrant that has been unsealed recently gives details about what authorities are calling a murder-suicide... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 12:06:43 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia Police officers arrested one person and are looking for a second in connection with a home invasion... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 9:53:00 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union alleges in a lawsuit that a suburban St. Louis police department... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:25:00 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 19-year-old man has been acquitted of killing and attempting to rob a suburban St. Louis... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:18:00 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - About 300 incoming freshmen at Lincoln University will be busy doing community service around town Thursday morning.... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:17:00 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for fatally beating his uncle... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:13:00 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say one woman is dead and three men are hurt after people in a car... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:08:39 AM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
9pm 72°
10pm 70°
11pm 68°
12am 67°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:00p
Saturday Night Live
8:30p
Great News
9:00p
The Night Shift
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
Saturday Night Live
8:30p
Great News
9:00p
The Night Shift
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld