Lubbock's public health department prepares for the worst

Lubbock's public health department prepares for the worst

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

You can't prepare for the worst without a game plan. A viral epidemic definitely ranks high.

The City of Lubbock's public health emergency plan looks great on paper. Doctors, volunteers and staffers put it to the test. City staffers conducted a strategic national stockpile exercise to understand whether Lubbock has the tools and resources to respond to this kind of public health emergency.

"Well it really helps us identify any weaknesses, we are actually running through plans we have written," said Katherine Wells, with the Lubbock Department of Public Health. "You can't figure out exactly how those plans are going to work until you sit down and have individuals fill out all of the different jobs and actually run the public through that POD." 

This was a four-day point-of-dispensing operation, one of the largest of its scale in Texas. 

"It's an educational tool if you don't do it and if you run blindly into a scenario you are not going to have any practice," said Dr. Ron Cook, Health authority for the city of Lubbock. "Well, this time this one worked or that didn't work, but next time we are going to do this and cover it that way, that's what disaster emergency management is all about." 

Amarillo and other South Plains public health departments joined in the exercise, along with the CDC and the state's regional oversight department. The data from these exercises will be collected and analyzed to help develop future POD plans.

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