FEMA/GALLATIN county TTX virtual Reunification ExerciseStart Date: 04/19/2022
This was a table top exercise about Family Reunification after a mass disaster event. Participants were from Gallatin, Park and Madison Counties. Scenario was a major earthquake in large urban area, so not necessarily relevant to Montana due to scope.
Here’s what I learned about Montana’s capabilities in meeting the needs of a mass event:
#1 Montana has no URBAN rescue capability. Resources from Washington, Idaho, Utah and South Dakota would have to be called upon.
#2 There is no Mass Care Coordinator in Montana. COAD,VOAD, and other volunteer organizations such as ARC , Salvation Army and United Way partially fill this role along with other local and statewide government entities.
#3 Providing consistent information is difficult. Local internet service is inadequate for large scale use. 211 provides good info and referrals. Having only one or two shelter situations is preferable to having multiple ones. Keeps information centralized.
#4 Reunification is provided by ARC through their ”Safe and Well” program . Child Care Connections helps with reuniting children and caring for them as needed. Law enforcement and hospitals can be of help.
#5 Montana mostly does not qualify for FEMA aid since such aid is based on large population affected by a disaster.
Local, regional government agencies and volunteer organizations provide the best and most immediate aid.