‘Silver Dragon’ Exercise Tests County Readiness for Emergencies

On April 23, from 9:00 am to noon, San Mateo County Health System staff will join local response teams in a large preparedness exercise designed to practice how each group would respond during a major emergency.

In the event of a major disaster, such as an earthquake, pandemic flu, catastrophic flood or prolonged power outage, it will be important to ensure the safety of San Mateo County residents, especially those who are vulnerable due to a medical condition.

The exercise, known as the Silver Dragon Emergency Exercise, will test the Health System’s ability to partner with local cities, law enforcement, fire departments, American Red Cross and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) who will simulate going door-to-door to check in on residents in neighborhoods selected for this exercise. This is the ninth year San Mateo County has led this type of exercise.

To test door-to-door checks as realistically as possible, CERT teams will distribute educational information and resources in reusable shopping bags to 16,000 homes, simulating how CERT members will operate in a real event. Results from the exercise will be shared with other health agencies to promote further learning and planning.

As part of the exercise, San Mateo Medical Center will also test its mobile kitchen capabilities, which would be used to feed and hydrate volunteers and first responders during a major emergency. Providing appropriate nourishment for these participants is a critical part of any response effort.

Members of the press are invited to observe the exercise. To learn more, contact Robyn Thaw at (650) 573-3935.

To help protect themselves during an emergency, residents should have an updated emergency supply kit and a plan for meeting with loved ones.

Participating Agencies:

San Francisco Bay Area American Red Cross, City of Belmont, Cal Fire, California Highway Patrol, Coastside CERT, City of Brisbane, City of East Palo Alto, City of Foster City, Menlo College, Menlo Fire District, Millbrae Fire Department, North County Fire Authority, Pacifica Police Department, Community of Redwood City, City of San Carlos, City of San Bruno, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services, San Mateo Fire Department, San Mateo Medical Center, San Mateo County Human Services Agency, and South San Francisco Fire Department.