Hundreds participate in statewide, live hurricane simulation

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Hundreds participated in one of South Carolina's largest drills Saturday afternoon.

The two-day simulation at Trident Medical Center is trying to improve the way we handle emergencies during a hurricane.

Emergency Medicine Dr. William Melvin Brown said the staff at Trident is ready for anything.

"You never know what's going to come in that door," Brown said. "We're always ready to accept an influx, accept anything that walks in the door no matter how strange it is."

This was the first multi-building, multi-agency, multi-county/region evacuation live drill for hurricane simulation. It included nine hospitals, nine nursing homes, doctors, mock-patients, ambulances, and even helicopters.

"We only have one opportunity to get it right during an actual event so a drill allows us to test our communications," MedTrust co-founder and CEO Josh Watts said. "All of these folks recognize the importance of this type of drill and they have not only participated but we have an enormous amount of support from a story and observation perspective. State agencies, county agencies, and facilities are coming together to not only observe but to put us in a position to improve going forward."

Organizers of the event said mess-ups are expected and embraced because learning from those mistakes will help make things smoother in real life emergencies.

"Efficiency is everything. Ultimately, time is precious in the event of an evacuation," Watts said.

"We know that when stuff goes down it'll come this way. It happened before with the snow and the last few hurricanes so we have to be ready and we are," Brown said.

Hurricane season runs through Nov. 30.

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