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Milwaukee conference talks about dealing with disasters

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Several Wisconsin businesses and organizations will now be more prepared for the unexpected. A conference was held in Milwaukee on Wednesday, September 18th which focused on preparing for natural disasters.

It can be argued that one can never truly prepare for a natural disaster, like a flood or tornado, but the Medical College of Wisconsin is trying its best. They addressed several different factors of natural disaster relief including both emotional and physical assistance at the Disaster Resilience Conference.

“Disaster hits the community at large, and coping with it has many dimensions,” said Dr. Reza Shaker, with the Medical College of Wisconsin, and a speaker at the conference. “This is a strong collaborative platform that brings together investigators from many, many fields that they can work together and address research questions related to post disaster issues.”

It was also an opportunity to create some dialogue about what to do if disaster strikes and it gives people from all over, the opportunity to join forces and collaborate.

“You never know where disaster is going to strike, first of all, and so being prepared and making those connections prior to is going to be beneficial for any organization,” said Kari Reinhart with Headwaters Disaster Relief.

Headwaters Disaster Relief is a nonprofit organization that developed after Hurricane Katrina to help support both the emotional and physical needs of families dealing with disaster. She has not only experienced the importance of those connections and shared resources, they're about to come in handy again, when they send a team to Colorado to deal with the floods. Reinhart said the conference was a good way to prepare for that.

“We're waiting for the flood waters to recede and we are planning a trip October 19th. We are just in the works of getting volunteers ready to go out there to do some rebuilding,” said Reinhart

The all-day conference included local business owners, public health departments, the Red Cross and community center leaders.