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School buildings designated as county distribution points



Published: Mon, January 16, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The schools were chosen because of their accessibility to county residents.

By LAURA MILOSER

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Two Lawrence County schools have agreed to aid the county's emergency management agency in case of a major disaster.

Mohawk and Neshannock School Districts have been designated as distribution points for the county.

Brian Melcer, the county's director of public safety, said as another part of the nation's homeland security efforts, federal, state and regional governments are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to establish a strategic plan.

The plan is in case of a public health emergency such as a terrorist attack, flu outbreak or other national disaster.

Melcer said Mohawk and Neshannock were chosen as distribution points because of their accessibility to county residents. He said there could be another site added later.

According to the CDC's Web site, the agency has a Strategic National Stockpile. There are large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect Americans in the event of a public health emergency.

12-hour time frame

Plans have been created to get the medical supplies to the distribution points within a 12-hour time frame.

The Lawrence County schools would open their doors for medical professionals to distribute the medications to the public as needed.

Melcer said the county has been working with Region 13 on the distribution plan for the past four or five months.

Region 13 covers 13 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania from Mercer County south to the city of Pittsburgh and from Lawrence County east to Cambria County.

"I am anxious to test the plan," Melcer said. He hopes to have the county perform a drill using both schools within the next couple of months.




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