On the evening of March 21, between 6:30 p. m. and 1 a. m., Tulane University carried out a realistic drill exercise. During the afternoon of March 21 a symposium was held on disaster medicine and included briefing discussions pertinent to the exercise to be conducted that evening.
The purpose of the drill exercise was to provide a realistic situation for instruction of medical students in the principles of disaster medicine. Also, the resources of the campus were used to demonstrate the need for adequate paramedical services in carrying out a rescue mission. The exercise had been so designed that it would adequately test the facilities of a 200-bed Federal Civil Defense Administration portable emergency hospital which was on loan from Baylor University School of Medicine. Finally, such an exercise, carried out effectively, provided proper emphasis to the need for community preparedness.
The basis for the disaster was a simulated