Area nursing homes participate in full-scale exercise

Around 9:30 Tuesday morning, those at the IOOF home were told a tornado hit.

Posted: Nov 14, 2017 5:52 PM
Updated: Nov 15, 2017 6:31 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Around 9:30 Tuesday morning, those at the IOOF home were told a tornado hit.
“It’s really stressful,” Shaylea Rinnels said.
Rinnels is a LPN and her role in this scenario is a little different: She's helping residents pretending to be hurt after the tornado struck the facility.
“Just helping anyone that needs help, making sure everyone is in their area safe,” Rinnels said.
You could say it was a little chaotic at times, but those working were doing the best they could to handle this big what-if.
“It’s a lot of work. You have to get everybody ready, make sure everyone is safe, and transport them as they need to be,” Rinnels said.
Residents were being taken to Good Shepherd.
Ian Stockberger is an incident commander and said he feels his facility would be pretty well prepared.
“It most definitely could happen. I think natural disasters are on the rise in the U.S. and certainly in the U.S. we're not immune to that,” Stockberger said.
Steve O'Neil would tell you it's best if things don't run as planned.
“It’s a mess, and that's what we are trying to create. If you have an exercise where everything is running perfect then you didn't do it right,” O’Neil said.
O'Neil is the Cerro Gordo County’s Emergency Management Coordinator. He helped plan this whole thing, stressing after seeing what happened to nursing facilities struck by hurricanes down south this summer.
“They have a tremendous responsibility of taking care of those residents, people’s families and working with this group ... it is definitely number one for them so they are trying to look at those extreme things that could happen,” O’Neil said.

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