Every two years, the American Red Cross is tested and judged by FEMA representatives to ensure that the organization is prepared to handle a nuclear drill.
On Aug. 6, the Greater Carolinas Chapter – in particular the Lake Norman and Statesville offices – completed the McGuire Nuclear Disaster Sheltering Drill. Approximately 20 volunteers prepared to handle activities surrounding Red Cross response: communications, registration, canteen, nursing, mental health and, of course, distributing cots and blankets.
The FEMA representatives created a situation in which there was radioactivity and selected someone to pretend to set off an alarm. They then had that person to go through the process of pretending to be washed and cleaned. Of course, there were “pretend” problems created to test the system.
For example, someone approached the Red Cross and pretended to become very upset because they had been separated from their 18-year-old son and was unable to find him. The Red Cross volunteers handled matters beautifully. We feel it was a successful event. We should know in a few weeks if we have areas that need to be changed or improved.