The county's health system and local response teams will hold a simulated large-scale delivery of medicine and medical supplies to residents as part of an emergency preparedness drill next week.
Volunteers and agencies throughout the county will participate to assess their readiness for timely response and aid in the event of a major health emergency like pandemic influenza, a food or water-borne illness or the release of a bio-agent.
The Silver Dragon VII Emergency Drill includes Community Emergency Response Teams distributing education information in reusable shopping bags to simulate medicine deliveries following an emergency.
Last year's exercise tested how long it took to visit 15,000 homes and the group will try improving the time this year. To test its mobile kitchen, San Mateo Medical Center's food service staff will prepare food for the volunteers.
The drill will also test how quickly the county receives the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's stockpile of medicine and supplies. Once local and federal authorities agree the stockpile is needed, medicine can be delivered to any state in the United States within 12 hours. In the meantime, the county will distribute medicine and supplies from its own pharmaceutical stockpile.
The drill is from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 18.