NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT

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    NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 "All six counties of the [North Georgia] health district participated and all met the objectives for each individual area of the plan." - Robby Westbrook, Deputy Director of Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Division of Emergency Management

IMG 20150108 105524 009-2-webDalton, GAThe local Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Transportation Security Plan was tested on Thursday, January 8 in a functional exercise led by staff of North Georgia Health District 1-2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health and Georgia State Patrol. Emergency Management Agency (EMA) officials, law enforcement agents, and public health staff in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties participated in the exercise by standing up each county's Emergency Operations Center (EOC). (Pictured: David Huskey of N. GA Health Dist. and GA State Patrol Lt. Don Stultz collaborate during SNS Transportation Security Plan Functional Exercise, Jan. 8, 2015.)

"The Strategic National Stockpile, or SNS, is a federally maintained cache of medical assets that would be available to local health districts if assets needed to respond to a public health crisis become depleted within the state," said David Huskey, emergency preparedness director for the North Georgia Health District. "For years, we have worked with our community partners to develop our plan for receiving these assets and distributing them to local temporary points of dispensing. It’s necessary to actually exercise the plan to test its strengths and weaknesses."

It is important to exercise each part of a plan, according to Robby Westbrook, deputy director of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management and facilitator of the exercise. Westbrook said, “Each aspect of even the best written plan should be tested to make sure everything comes together in the way it’s spelled out. This exercise went very well. All six counties of the health district participated and all met the objectives for each individual area of the plan."

Charles Braxton, exercise coordinator for the Georgia Department of Public Health, said other health districts throughout the state will benefit from Thursday’s exercise. “They will get to see how capably a well-written and well-exercised security and transportation plan can function,” stated Braxton. “In observing this exercise, it was apparent that the partners involved have a very clear and competent understanding of security transportation provisions in the plan and are more than prepared to execute those provisions as needed in a real event.”

Georgia State Patrol Lt. Don Stultz helped coordinate the exercise from the health district’s emergency operations center, and exercise observers and evaluators included Shaun Brand of Northwest Georgia Health District 1-1, based in Rome, and both Peggy Monkus and Kim Townsend of District 4 Public Health, based in LaGrange.

For more information about the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and Points Of Dispensing (PODs), click here.

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Photos of the January 8, 2015 Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Transportation Security Plan Functional Exercise taken throughout the North Georgia Health District:

Deputy Dir. Louise Hamrick leads North Georgia Health District and Georgia State Patrol staff in health district's emergency operations center for the Strategic National Stockpile Transportation Security Plan Functional Exercise on January 8, 2015:SNS-DO

Director Renee Cornelison leads Cherokee County EMA staff and county partnering agencies' reps in Cherokee County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the Strategic National Stockpile Transportation Security Plan Functional Exercise on January 8, 2015:Cher SNS Ex-web

 

Chief Robert Graham leads Fannin County EMA staff and county partnering agencies' reps in Fannin County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the Strategic National Stockpile Transportation Security Plan Functional Exercise on January 8, 2015:Fan SNS Ex-web

 

Chief Bob Howard leads Pickens County EMA staff and county partnering agencies' reps in Pickens County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the Strategic National Stockpile Transportation Security Plan Functional Exercise on January 8, 2015:Pic SNS Ex-web

 

Chief Claude Craig leads Whitfield County EMA staff and county partnering agencies' reps in Whitfield County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the Strategic National Stockpile Transportation Security Plan Functional Exercise on January 8, 2015:Whit SNS Ex-web

 

Deputy Dir. Robby Westbrook of Cherokee County Sheriff's Div. of Emergency Management and Charles Braxton of Georgia Dept of Public Health assist in N. GA Health Dist. Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the Strategic National Stockpile Transportation Security Plan Functional Exercise on January 8, 2015:Robby and Charles at DOC for SNS Ex - Jan 2015

 

Shaun Brand of Nw GA Health Dist 1-1 and Kim Townsend and Peggy Monkus of District 4 Public Health observe and evaluate in N. GA Health Dist. Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the Strategic National Stockpile Transportation Security Plan Functional Exercise on January 8, 2015:Evals and Obs SNS Ex-web