Disasters Must Confine Themselves To Regular Business Hours

Ever since I completed CERT training I’ve gotten periodic invitations to participate in various mock disaster drills (such as the one at Texas Motor Speedway, the one at DFW airport, etc).  Usually they want us to act as casualties, although an upcoming one in Ft. Worth would allow us to practice in more active roles.

The main thing I’ve noticed about all of these drills is that they occur on weekdays during (or close to) regular business hours.  I imagine that part of this is cost driven, since having first-responders out on nights or weekends would likely involve bringing in people from first-shift who would incur overtime.  But it hampers participation by volunteers to those who don’t work during the day. 

Aside from the volunteer pool issue, though, wouldn’t a real disaster likely occur at any time?  Shouldn’t second and third shift responders be in on these?  Wouldn’t a good disaster drill test the system during the later shifts to see how well the system responds at times of lower staffing (i.e. it would stress their emergency callout capability)?

Somehow I don’t think bad weather, plane crashes, or terrorists will confine themselves to regular business hours on weekdays…

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