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It’s only a drill

Thursday tornado disaster won’t be real — we hope

POSTED April 11, 2011 3:13 p.m.

Thursday morning, the northwest part of Great Bend is going to sustain significant damage from a powerful tornado that will touch down and cause multiple injuries, requiring the response of emergency workers from around the area — as long as it doesn’t rain, that is. In case of severe weather, the tornado will be postponed.
Seriously.
Fire Chief Mike Napolitano noted that — so far as the city officials know — there will be no actual tornado on Thursday morning, but there will be a local disaster drill to help agencies prepare for a real disaster.
So, if there is the threat of severe weather, the drill will have to be postponed, because the people who will be involved will need to be free to respond to REAL emergencies.
Otherwise, they will be busy for a couple of hours, starting shortly after noon, responding to Veterans Memorial Park.
Napolitano noted that the park will be closed from about 8 a.m. to about 3 p.m. to facilitate the drill Napolitano, Assistant City Administrator Dawn Jaeger and other city officials have been working with city and county safety officials, hospital staffs, and others from around the county on the simulation of a tornado strike on Great Bend.
They want to make sure the public knows about it, and beginning around mid-morning, there will be announcements on the emergency scanners, nevertheless, there could be people who hear the radio traffic that will go with the drill, or who will see the emergency vehicles, and will be concerned there is a real event.
That is why they want to get the word out that — to coin a phrase — it’s only a drill.
The event should be concluded around 3 p.m. and the park will reopen, the fire chief explained.

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