Preparing for a disaster situation

About 260 volunteers participate in a community-wide disaster simulation.

Posted: Oct 1, 2018 7:32 AM
Updated: Oct 1, 2018 7:35 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - When in a crisis situation, how do you respond?  In a simulation, about 260 volunteers got the chance to find out. 

It's all part of the 8th annual Bounce Day which creates a mock disaster scenario. This year's was a bus crash and zombies spreading diseases. 

"We can still be devastated by an unexpected event. We're looking for this resiliency mindset and that they have skills that they can use to help respond. And if we can get everyone in that resiliency mindset then we've accomplished a huge thing," Dr. Robin Molella, organizer of the event, said. 

Medical professionals and students, high school students, and military personnel all volunteered to participate. 

The event had a makeshift triage center where people were able to test their medical training and others were able to learn new skills like how to stop a bleed. 

High school student Keegan Ernste said after the experience he feels more prepared for a crisis situation. The experience also gave him a better sense of community. 

"Finding new people and learning with new people because I didn't come with anyone else. But it was great because I made a lot of new friends today," he said.

Friends that can help when in need. 

"Who you've been to dinner with, who you've been to the soccer field with, that matters. They're actually community assets," Dr. Molella said. "The nature of the community that we have is what allows us to respond to a disaster, and more than respond, what gives us the strength to bounce back, to recover."

The event is a collaboration between Mayo Clinic, Olmsted County Zumbro Valley Medical Society, Rochester disaster preparedness experts, local businesses and service organizations.

To learn more about Bounce Day, click here

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