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Training Leon County School Staff as Emergency Shelter Volunteers

shelterdrill.jpg
Tom Flanigan
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Leon County schools have long been shelter locations during disasters. Now a concerted effort is underway to train school staff members to be shelter volunteers.

Thursday’s (6/14) disaster drill took place at Lincoln High School as a trainer coached middle and high school students how to play the parts of evacuees.

“Now you guys remember you’re nervous. You’re nervous, scared and asking a lot of questions.”

Leon County Emergency Management Director Kevin Peters gave the reason for the exercise.

“The school system, they wanted to be more engaged and help out more. Historically they provided the shelter locations at the schools. They wanted to provide staff to help out.”

Capital Area Red Cross Executive Director Sharon Council Tyler said school staff would have the experience of running an emergency shelter with a few unexpected twists thrown in to test their resourcefulness.

“That’s the point of today is practicing it, seeing where the gaps are, where they might need a little more training, making sure that the folks trained by Leon County feel comfortable.”

Hopefully comfortable enough to cope with the real deal when the need arises.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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