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County needs emergency operation plan

 

8-27-2020

 

I am in college taking Homeland Security and Emergency Management and one of the assignments was to read my counties Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and evaluate it.

I called the Sheriff office to talk with the emergency manager and asked him if I could get a copy of the FEMA-EOP as it is to be published for the community. He told me that no one can read it. I asked if we have one, and was told we do, and the primary emergency planning is wildfires.

FEMA requires all cities and counties to write a comprehensive all-hazard EOP in order to be eligible to apply for FEMA grants to mitigate an emergency and if an emergency happens to receive funds to rebuild the community from the emergency and this EOP is to be made public.

Part of my education is knowing how to produce an EOP and what is required. In looking over our community we have 15 or more possible emergences that could happen in our area that would take action of an emergency manager to oversee. Not just one, wildfire. There are two categories human caused hazards and natural hazards to be reviewed. In the past few months, we have seen unrest, riots in the streets and possible terrorist attack on our electric or water supply. Natural disasters that we now have is droughts every year, earthquakes, floods and winter storms just to name a few. What about a chemical spill on the highway, plan crash etc. There is a real need for comprehensive planning.

In this day of so many uncertainties a good plan is essential for our community’s welfare. The other part of our community in having a plan for our first responders and management is your family plan. Do you as a family have your own EOP? You cannot depend on the sheriff to rescue you; you must be responsible in making your own plan and having food and water storage to last at least a week.

If you travel to Salt Lake City and somehow end up in a BLM riot what do you do? How to you get out of it, safely. If the electricity goes out for a few days, what do you do to save your freezer food? If the county does not have an EOP that does not excuse you from not having a plan for your family.

How do we as citizens move our county officials to make an interagency (other cities) FEMA-EOP plan? I do not know. Maybe go to the county meetings and plead with them. If a large emergency does happen and we do not have a plan, it could be devastating to life and property.

 

Dave Brown,

Mt. Pleasant