Hurricane Wanda "hits" Cook Regional Medical Center

Medical professionals simulated how they would respond after Hurricane Wanda hit the city and spawn a tornado that damaged a wing of the Cook Senior Living Center that's attached to the Cook Regional Medical Center in Adel. / Jessica Fairley

With several major emergency situations making recent headlines, Cook County health professionals took precaution to make sure they're prepared for disaster.

Thursday afternoon staff members participated in an emergency drill conducted by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Georgia Hospital Association.

The simulation took place at the Cook Senior Living Center.

"Hurricane Wanda came up through the Florida panhandle. A tornado spawned off hurricane Wanda and we took a direct hit here at Cook Senior Living Center," said Michael Purvis, CEO for the Cook Medical Center.

The scenario mimicked real life. Students from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College students acted as the patients during the drill.

The students were scattered along the floor as if they were injured by the tornado.

Staff members were graded on how they handled the patients and how efficiently they worked as a team during the exercise.

"Anything can happen anywhere, so it's very important that you have your staff prepared as much as possible," said Tammy Harlow, Nursing Staff Supervisor.

As they all pull together for the drill, many thought of how this training could one day help save lives.

"If you're better prepared, if you have systems break down in a simulated environment it gives you a better understanding and a better reaction time to that event and thus it saves lives," said Michael Purvis.