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Dakota County seeks volunteers for emergency exercise

No one likes to think about the possibility of a disaster or emergency. However, staff in emergency response agencies must plan, prepare and practice in case the worst happens.

To prepare for the possibility of a disease outbreak, the Dakota County Public Health Department has organized a full-scale emergency exercise that will take place July 26 at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights. “Operation Big Box” will test plans for setting up a medication center, or Point of Dispensing (POD) site, where residents would pick up medicine during a disease outbreak.

Public Health is seeking 200–300 volunteers in order to practice managing the large volume of people who would come to the POD in a real emergency.

Volunteers will check in at the school from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on July 26 to receive a briefing about their role. The exercise ends at 2:30 p.m. and lunch will be provided. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and have a permission form signed by their parent or guardian if younger than 18.

If you are interested in volunteering, please register before July 16 at the Operation Big Box Web page. For more information, visit the Dakota County website.

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