Organizations Prepare and Train for Disaster, Vigilant Guard

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Knowing what to do when disaster strikes and being prepared is the focus of a Minnesota National Guard exercise going on this week at the DECC.

That National Guard has teamed up with the Red Cross and county officials to create a mock scenario known as Vigilant Guard.

The scope of the program is immense as it is a national program.

The local planning for Vigilant Guard began in the fall of 2011.

Since 2011, small-scale trainings have taken place and this week’s exercise is the culminating factor.

Tuesday, morning more than 100 volunteers will arrive at the DECC acting as evacuees.

The mock scenario will involve straight-line winds taking out Hermantown all the way to downtown Duluth.

It will offer an opportunity for Red Cross volunteers, new and old, to test their skills when disaster strikes.

“Tomorrow is the day to make mistakes. I always tell people the key word is disaster. People are going to be nervous and crazy, hysterical but we will work through it and do our best that is what Red Cross does.  We take care of people in the time of disaster small or big,” said Red Cross Disaster Program’s Manager Tony Guerra.

Northeastern Minnesota’s National Guard is incredibly lucky as they were one of two locations across the national to be selected to take part in the Vigilant Guard exercise.

Exercises are also taking place in St. Paul and at Camp Ripley.

If you’re interested in volunteering as an evacuee the Red Cross said they are still in need of more volunteers.

You are asked to arrive at Pioneer Hall at the DECC Tuesday morning around 8:30a.m.

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