Operation Little St. Nick Donations Management Exercise to be Held in DeFuniak Springs

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Operation Little St. Nick Donations Management Exercise to be Held in DeFuniak Springs

Walton County Emergency Management is engaged and committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of over 68,000 people living within their county. Planning for the influx of donated goods can be difficult given the complex set of logistical, staffing, and coordination issues which arise during and after disasters. In order to aid in the planning process and create an opportunity to see the capabilities, gaps and vulnerabilities in the donations management process, Walton County Emergency Management has partnered with The Matrix Community Outreach Center, the Walton County Community Emergency Response Team and other civic and faith based organizations, to participate in “Operation Little St. Nick”, a donations management exercise at the Walton County Fairgrounds beginning at 8:00am on December 13, 2019. Based on a notional disaster scenario, participants will organize, sort, and package donated goods as they would during an actual disaster. In addition to testing the donations management process, the items being used in the exercise are toys that were donated to The Matrix for their Community Christmas Event. Those donated toys will be sorted and packaged by age, gender, and family and will be distributed to families in need at next week’s event.

The goal of this exercise is to test Walton County’s ability to conduct donations management operations. The objectives are to create a process to sort donated resources to ensure incoming resource request can be fulfilled in an expedient manner as well as fulfil resource requests from a pre-vetted list.

The scenario for the exercise is as follows. An outbreak of Siberian Reindeer fever broke out at Santa’s workshop in the north pole at the start of December. The elven population of the North Pole are either bedridden or in quarantine until January 1, 2020. This left no staff to provide toys for children listed on the “Nice List.” Overwhelmed and undermanned, Santa created an Emergency Management Assistance Compact request for toy sorting staff. The Walton County CERT signed the REQ-A and agreed to provide mutual aid resources to save Christmas.

This exercise is open to the public. If you would like to participate and assist with this worthy endeavor, please be at the Walton County Fairgrounds (790 North 9th Street DeFuniak Springs) at 8:00am on December 13, 2019.

For more information, questions, or media interview requests, please contact Jeff Goldberg, Walton County Emergency Management Director at (850) 307-4121.

Walton County Emergency Management provides emergency management services for the residents, businesses, and visitors of Walton County and is considered a leader in the Florida emergency management community. Their mission is to prevent, mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from all hazards, emergencies and disasters using a whole community approach.

The Matrix Community Outreach Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the physical, mental and spiritual needs of men, women, and children; with an emphasis on special interest groups like the homeless, veterans, senior citizens and economically disadvantaged youth. The Matrix works directly with individuals, churches, businesses, agencies, and other organizations to bridge the gap between needs and resources.

It would improve our holiday spirit if members of the media could attend.

At your service,

Louis E. Svehla
Public Information Manager
Walton County Board of County Commissioners
76 North 6th Street
DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433
O – 850-892-8155
C – 850-333-6404

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