Emergency management holds tornado disaster drill - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Emergency management holds tornado disaster drill

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People in Missouri and now Oklahoma are busy picking up the mess left behind from massive tornadoes.

But how would the city of Sioux Falls respond if a tornado touched down here?

The city spent Wednesday answering that very question.

The scenario portrayed a tornado hitting the western part of Sioux Falls leaving the city in chaos.

Even though this is just a simulation, Sioux Falls emergency managers and response agencies are treating it like the real thing.

"It's good so we can baby-step through this so when we have a big one everyone understands what they're going to do and how we're going to communicate and work through this," said Sioux Falls Emergency Manager Regan Smith.

The drill follows the incident command system where each section is color coded.

Red vests were for operations such as the fire department, police, and other responding agencies.

Blue vests indicated the planners who decided what action to take when calls come in.

Yellow vests were logistics and communications while white vests showed the information officers.

The drill not only involved emergency managers and response agencies but included other Sioux Falls institutions.

"We got the hospitals also playing and we're communicating with them and we've got injects coming in so we try and make it as realistic as possible," Smith said.

In another room at the station, officers make calls to the emergency operations center, throwing other small scenarios into the mix to test their response.

Those injects are anything from a person who is trapped in their car, to monkeys and tigers escaping from the zoo.

"A lot of different things coming at us and different city departments have to work together to respond to and that's what it does," said Smith.

While you can't always predict what is going to happen during a natural disaster it is a comfort to know the city is doing it's best to prepare, should a tornado ever come our way.

The drill was originally scheduled for March but was delayed because of flood preparations in the city and wasn't scheduled because of what's happening around the country.

Evaluators were present for the drill and are currently preparing a detailed report.

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