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Citizens gather to practice disaster response

Through an interactive game, called Extreme Event, teams worked to prepare for an unknown disaster.

Posted: Mar. 15, 2019 3:00 PM
Updated: Mar. 15, 2019 6:33 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. -- A couple dozen people from a variety of rescue backgrounds joined forces Friday to learn more about disaster preparedness.

Through an interactive game, called Extreme Event, teams worked to prepare for an unknown disaster by choosing 12 resource cards.

The teams later learned today's pretend disaster was a flood, which hit home for at least one member of the group. Carrie Prechtel is the Community Engagement Manager for AllCare Health. She remembers the 1997 Ashland flood. 

"I remember all the outhouses lined up on Siskiyou Boulevard, and people without power [and] without water," Prechtel said. 

Once the flood "hit" today, the teams were broken up and placed into different groups, called "neighborhoods." These new teams had to get certain resources to save their individual neighborhoods, but also had to compete with the other groups. They could also swap resources with other teams.

A key tool that was lacking: communication. That mirrors real emergency situations, Mike Knox -- a member of the Ashland Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) team said. 

"It's been proven nationally that communication is a huge problem across groups."

Today's event highlighted the need for setting up communication pathways before disaster strikes. 

There is one more Extreme Event planned for tomorrow. The location isn't set yet, but it will either be in the Ashland City Council chambers -- like Friday's event --  or it will be across the parking lot at The Grove. 

CLICK HERE to RSVP to the event. 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Extreme Event.

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