What better way to prepare for an emergency than to do so while not having one!  On October 13th, four local agencies gathered together in Wheeler’s city hall to act as though a snow storm had blocked the roads, the power was out, and 50 or more people needed a place to shelter.  The Tillamook County EMS, Tillamook County Health Department, American Red Cross, and the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay (EVCNB) came together testing their preparedness.

Preparedness involves not only being a shelter, but what kind of shelter to be.  Wheeler is part of EVCNB’s strategy of establishing three possible shelter sites within Manzanita, Nehalem, and Wheeler.  The three sites are Manzanita’s Calvary Bible Church, Nehalem’s North County Recreation District, and Wheeler City Hall.  Anyone of these sites is capable of providing a warming place, food, over-night lodging for a limited number of people, and medical attention.

For this drill, the call went out via several communication methods and over 30 individuals came to the shelter to help in whatever way possible.  Some of those responding arrived with skills gathered from previous experience while others came willing to learn how to best serve.  Some came as victims needing a place to shelter from the storm even though it was a nice, sunny day.

Drills such as this one yield valuable lessons on what went right and what needs improving.  These drills are conducted on an on-going basis.  The public is invited to participate as a volunteer or someone needing assistance.  Watch for the next one; it will be advertised on this web site.