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DHMH Press Releases > Posts > DHMH and Local Health Departments to Conduct Cities Readiness Initiative Exercise
 

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May 07
DHMH and Local Health Departments to Conduct Cities Readiness Initiative Exercise

Medication Distribution strategies in the Baltimore Region to be tested

Baltimore, MD (May 7, 2012) -In order to test Maryland’s ability to respond to a potential anthrax incident, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) will sponsor an exercise on May 8 and 9 with participation from local health departments and other response partners in the Baltimore region.

The exercise will test and refine Maryland’s Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) plans. A federally funded program, the CRI is an effort to prepare major U.S. cities and metropolitan areas to effectively respond to a large scale bioterrorist event by dispensing antibiotics to residents of the entire region within 48 hours.

The exercise will test and refine Maryland’s Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) plans. A federally funded program, the CRI is an effort to prepare major U.S. cities and metropolitan areas to effectively respond to a large scale bioterrorist event by dispensing antibiotics to residents of the entire region within 48 hours.

Health departments in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard and Queen Anne’s counties will participate.

In keeping with Governor Martin O’Malley’s core goals for a Prepared Maryland, DHMH and local health departments routinely prepare and test emergency plans to protect Maryland residents from a potential biological attack. This exercise will test the ability of local health departments to distribute medication in an emergency, provide information to the public and media, coordinate activities and share data among various agencies. Participating jurisdictions will test a variety of components of their medication distribution plans, including mobile dispensing strategies and reaching out to at-risk populations.

“These exercises make us better prepared,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH. “Training also supports collaboration for day-to-day challenges.”

Priority areas to be tested include outreach messaging, communications and information sharing, emergency operations coordination, medication distribution methods and strategies, management of large quantities of medications, volunteer management, and security.

“Preparing for emergencies and testing our ability to protect the public health of Maryland residents is our primary goal in these activities,” said Fran Phillips, DHMH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services. “We are constantly working to improve our preparedness planning and response abilities.”

In addition to health departments, exercise participants include: Baltimore City Fire Department, Baltimore City Police Department, Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, Baltimore County Public Schools, Carroll County Office of Emergency Management, Carroll County Public Schools, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland Natural Resources Police, Harford County Public Schools, Howard County Columbia Association, Howard County Department of Corrections, Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue, Howard County Department of Public Works, Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, Howard County GIS, Howard County Government, Howard County Office of Emergency Management, Howard County Police Department, Queen Anne’s Area Agency on Aging, Queen Anne’s Board of Education, Queen Anne’s Department of Public Works, Queen Anne’s Emergency Management Agency.

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