What if Toledo was hit by natural disaster?

Reported by Dick Berry - email

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WTOL) - Hundreds are training, this week, to figure out what would happen if Toledo were hit by a natural disaster.

For example, what about a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. In this disaster preparedness test, buildings across the city are collapsed. Thousands are trapped and injured. One victim is a pregnant woman who's just gone into labor.

The Ohio National Guard has come to Owens Community College's Center for Emergency Preparedness for a week of natural disaster training. Local emergency organizations also joined in, allowing everyone to train together in one location.

700 people participated in the exercises and the National Guard says this is all about preparedness. Their mission is to be prepared for a no notice, any-time, anywhere response.

"Because in a disaster, emergency situation, these are the folks who will have to come together to resolve the issues," says the Center for Emergency Preparedness' Tom Pack.

When disaster strikes, local emergency leaders call the shots. The military comes in at their request.

"Really, it's a rare opportunity for us to see how the military and civilians would integrate in a natural disaster," says Wood County EMA Director Brad Gilbert.

Victims of the earthquake are taken to a decontamination tent. They're washed down and treated for injuries. That's where our pregnant woman is now.

"We want them ready when they're called. And these events who we're ready and practice their skills," says Ohio National Guard Brig. General Jack Lee.

And the pregnant woman worked on her acting skills too. In her role today, she gave birth to twins.

"The mother is doing fine. The babies are doing fine."

At least some good news on a day of disaster in the city of Toledo.