Maryann Kiar is making her own list and checking it twice during a phone conference addressing ChemPack pre-positioning between the California/Nevada border. Photo by Glenda Svendsen

Preparedness knows no season

While most of the community is gearing up for Christmas break, rest assured our local emergency personnel are not on holiday.

Ever vigilant, the Emergency Preparedness Division of the Lassen County Health Department is busy planning for the worst case scenario so you don’t have to.

Education, training and drills are constantly being executed and evaluated for issues concerning hospital preparedness, measures for pandemic flu epidemic and Chempak procedures.

Emergency Preparedness expert Maryann Kiar reminds us that, “The Public Health Emergency Preparedness team

engages in collaborative, community focused emergency health planning to address biological, chemical, radiological, or natural disaster events that could result in public health threats or emergencies.”

Her current undertaking is establishing logistics for crossborder Chempack assets.

Kiar and other involved entities meet quarterly to ensure the most expedient distribution of assets to people in our community if and when a situation arises.

Establishing communication across borders from California and Nevada in advance improves response time for sharing information and resources thereby optimizing the pre-positioning of antidotes.

The Chempack program provides antidotes (three countermeasures used concomitantly) to nerve agents for pre-positioning by state, local and/or tribal officials throughout the U.S. in the event of an attack on civilians with nerve agents.

Kiar adds, “Even a small amount of preparation before an emergency can make a huge difference and save lives.  We are creating plans, practicing them and conducting training to better protect the residents of Lassen County.”