Quad Cities' First Disaster Readiness Conference

May  20, 2014

      When the next disaster hits the Quad Cities, local officials want to be prepared. The Scott County Health Department will host the first Quad Cities Disaster Readiness Conference tomorrow. The 4-hour event will bring together emergency specialists, churches, service groups, and local government agencies.

      Emergency Medical Services Coordinator, Denny Coon, says disasters often affect both sides of the Mississippi, so it's important for everyone to work together. 

      "In any disasaster, the first 96 hours--I mean, it used to be the first 36 to 48--would be the response of the local people before either state and federal assets could come in and help them. I think the realization now is that you better prepare for 96 hours to be on your own. That's why it's important to make sure we've got a lot of people on the same page as we move forward with these planning and mitigation and processes."

      The conference will feature speakers from across the country, with experience in a range of disasters, from the Joplin Missouri tornado to the LeClaire Tugboat oil spill. Coon says the Quad Cities could benefit most from learning about how to use social media in a disaster.

       "It's been noted that it's the most accomplished way to share information, not only with other providers, you know, other responders, but also to the public."

       The Quad Cities Disaster Readiness conference will be held tomorrow at 8 a.m. at the Isle of Capri Conference Center in Bettendorf.