Hennepin County Medical Center is one of the many participants in a 2016 Winter Cycling Congress exercise demonstrating how bicycles could be used to assist during a disaster, even in winter. And the weather appears to be cooperating.
The disaster scenario takes place on February 3 from 8:30-noon when bicyclists will use the Minneapolis/St. Paul bikeway system and neighborhood streets to complete realistic assignments to test the effectiveness of using bicycles under winter conditions.
“They may be asked to deliver supplies to a specific location or complete other tasks as assigned,” explains emergency physician Dr. John Hick, Medical Director for Emergency Preparedness at HCMC. “Should there be a disaster that affects traffic, communications or infrastructure downtown, having bicycles navigate alternative routes could prove to be an essential resource to perform emergency and disaster response activities.”
The 2016 Winter Cycling Congress’ Disaster Relief Trial will begin at an Incident Command Center at the Commons Hotel n the U of M campus, which is the venue for the 3-day conference. After signing in, the cyclists will have their bikes checked, attend an orientation, and be grouped into teams. Assignment sheets will be given to each team along with clear directions and timeframes for task completion. In addition to out-of-town conference attendees, HCMC’s Bicycle Security Team and volunteers, the Minneapolis Bike Coalition, the Minneapolis Fire Department and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will be participating in the exercise.
For more information or to sign up go to: