CENTRAL WISCONSIN (WAOW) — The community group ‘Wausau Metro Strong’ is teaming up with Marathon County Sheriff’s Department and local businesses to host a workshop to share the importance of being prepared in emergencies.
Having a plan in an emergency is crucial to your safety; schools have them, but work places often fall short.
Wausau Metro Strong was formed after the March 22, 2017, shooting rampage that shook the greater Wausau area. The lessons learned from that day inspired the community to be more proactive in similar situations.
The program provides businesses with information that’s readily available such as Marathon county’s Everbridge emergency services notification system. It allows local businesses and local community members to get notifications straight from law enforcement when a threat is in your area.
The system can be a useful tool for businesses too, as active shooter situations happening most often in businesses with 45%, schools 25%, and government facilities 10% according to activeshooterdata.org.
“They don’t know where to get the information from. Do they go online? And say do we put our business or school on lockdown or not? Schools have a much better communication system, but businesses don’t,” said Jeny Nieuwenhuis Hardel, President & Owner of REI Engineering INC.
REI Engineering is one of the partnering businesses and provides business consulting in a variety of ways, including emergency action plans.
Another available tool for businesses is the ability to upload your business’ floor plan to the authorities database.
Without the information, it can cause delays for first responders in situations where every second counts.
“Right now, they have no idea what a map or floor plan of that business is if you haven’t submitted that information, which most businesses have not. Often, they actually have to have somebody from that business go with them to clear the building,” said Hardel.
The workshop is being offered as free program at Northcentral Technical College from 11 am to 1 p.m. The program is full, but more are in the works.