Tornado by Tabletop - Kane County Prepares for a Large-scale Emergency
The Kane County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) recently convened County staff at its Emergency Operations Center for a catastrophic incident response tabletop exercise. Tabletop exercises are discussion-based sessions aimed at reviewing team members' roles and responses during emergencies. Emergency training and preparation is year-round effort in Kane County.
The scenario presented during the two-hour simulation involved a destructive tornado hitting a populated area of Kane County. Participants received details of the hypothetical disaster and collaborated to review and discuss a response plan. The exercise was designed to test emergency protocols and identify areas for improvement.
Discussions covered immediate response, ensuring life safety, hospital triage, damage assessment, requesting emergency resources, public communication, shelter needs, animal welfare, financial requirements, disaster declaration, and recovery efforts. The scenario also addressed potential challenges like cell tower outages and internet service disruptions.
Elected officials and department heads from Kane County participated in the exercise, including Kane County 911 (KaneComm), the Sheriff's Office, OEM, the Health Department, the County Board, the Public Information Office, the Kane County Division of Transportation, GIS, Animal Control, the Development Department, and Finance.
Plans are underway to conduct more exercises in the future to ensure that emergency response procedures are regularly reviewed and remain current and effective.