A Texas County Wants You to Be Ready for an Emergency Outbreak

There’s not a real emergency in Comal County, but the disaster preparedness team is set to practice an emergency plague drill Friday morning.

By Joy DiazOctober 1, 2015 10:41 am

Imagine you turn on the radio one day and you hear a sound like that emergency broadcast signal. Only this time, the announcer does not say “This is only a test.”

Then the sound disappears and you hear an official-sounding voice, saying something like “This is a civil health emergency, residents of Comal County are advised to report immediately to the interstate frontage road for emergency supplies and medication. Drive. Do not walk.”

To be clear, this is an imagined scenario; in real life, there is no emergency. But if officials get it right, the scene in Comal County will look that way Friday morning along the north side of the interstate frontage road in New Braunfels. The county is staging an exercise to test how people would respond in the event of an outbreak of the plague.

Chris Washington is Comal County’s emergency preparedness coordinator. He says in an ideal situation, there will be a line of participants in the cars waiting to receive an emergency scenario.

A scenario might look like this, Washington says: “You’re John Doe, 32 years old and you’re allergic to a specific antibiotic.”

Next, participants in the drill would drive through the line. “You would hand your paperwork to someone at a dispensing station,” he says. “You would be handed your medication and then – in an ideal situation – then you would be out and go to your home to be with your loved ones.”

Listen to our talk in the audio player above.