Where, oh where, has the Drama Queen been?
Where, oh where, can she be???
Well...I'll tell ya'.
She's been dealing with the fall-out of the HUGE earthquake that struck Memphis on Monday. You know, that 7.7-magnitude whopper that's displaced thousands and thousands of people....
You didn't hear about it?
That could be because it only happened on paper. Whew. I love disasters that only happen on paper. "Exercises", we call them. And in this case, a National Level Exercise.
The Big One.
Here's what FEMA said about this exercise:
NLE 2011 is a White House directed Congressionally-mandated exercise that includes the participation of all appropriate federal department and agency senior officials, their deputies and staff; and key operational elements. NLE 2011 will focus on regional catastrophic response and recovery activities between federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector participants.
It may have only been "on paper" - but it still has meant a LOT of work for hundreds and hundreds of volunteers and officials across a 7-state area, as we "pretended" to respond to this disaster.
In my case, it meant working at a 100-bed shelter on Monday....training, talking, teaching, interviewing, and being interviewed.
Just one of hundreds of volunteers I trained over the course of the two days...
On Thursday, it involved working at a 500-bed shelter, pretty much doing the same thing as Monday only on a much larger scale. Teaching. Training. Interviewing. Demonstrating. Responding. Thinking. Solving. Encouraging. Assisting. Directing. Managing. Talking. Running into old friends and catching up. Making new friends. Having fun while working on a serious exercise.
"Clients" would be given a role to play to see if we'd respond appropriately....
Nothing like working while being observed by the "Big Cheese of Red Cross" in the background....
I'm hoping that what we practiced for this week NEVER plays out in real life...but if it does...
We'll be there.
We'll be ready.