TriStar StoneCrest March 23, 2015

Town of Smyrna Community Tornado Drill was part of National FEMA Preparedness Campaign

SMYRNA, Tenn. –TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center participated in a community tornado drill conducted by the Town of Smyrna and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of a national community preparedness campaign on March 20, 2015.

Smyrna was the first community in the state to participate in FEMA’s America’s PrepareAthon!sm initiative through this event. A free community expo was also held on March 21st at the Smyrna Town Centre as a resource for residents to learn about disasters common to the region and how to best prepare for those events.

“Tristar StoneCrest is extremely excited about taking part in America’s PrepareAthon!sm in collaboration with Smyrna’s PrepareAthon! sm and about the partnership that we have with the Town of Smyrna, government organizations, schools and other local businesses,” said Lou Caputo, CEO of TriStar StoneCrest.

“In the event of a real disaster - a real tornado - we want to know that we have prepared well, done the right things and have tight partnerships with resources in the community,” he explained. “While the exercise disrupts us for a day or two, it really lets us know where our weaknesses and strengths are during a disaster and gives us a chance to put processes in place and frankly learn from our mistakes.”

As part of Smyrna’s PrepareAthon!sm activities, TriStar StoneCrest conducted a full scale tornado and mass casualty drill.

“This type of drill is something we do on at least an annual basis as part of our ongoing efforts to improve what we do and serve our community at large,” said T.J. Burke, emergency preparedness coordinator for TriStar StoneCrest. “Smyrna’s PrepareAthon!sm is a wonderful event because of the invaluable relationships we build during the exercise and with members of our community.”

T.K. Case, Rutherford County Director for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, said he hopes the program will continue and grow in Smyrna next year and that other communities in the area will choose to conduct a similar exercise.

“I want to thank the Town of Smyrna for pulling the community together to make this happen,” said Case. “For you to take a day to do a drill, get your plan together, and make sure you are focused on what is our most dangerous time of the year…it really pays dividends in the long run.”

The overarching goal of Smyrna’s PrepareAthon!sm was to increase the number of residents and businesses who understand the hazards most relevant to their community, know protective measures, and how to increase preparedness with drills and exercises. This national campaign encourages local communities to promote awareness to action among its citizens, businesses, healthcare facilities, churches, schools and non-profit partners.

Find more information on America’s PrepareAthon!sm online at