Emergency Preparedness and Safety Committee
Are you prepared for emergencies? Is the Town prepared? What are you supposed to do in emergency situations?
The Emergency Preparedness Committee improves our Town’s readiness in cases of local and regional emergency situations, and raises awareness of Town residents about how to be prepared for emergencies and contribute to an emergency response.
Hazards to Town, Natural and Manmade
Due to the forested nature of our Town, we are particularly vulnerable to snowstorms, thunderstorms, and tornadoes, all of which can bring down trees and branches, causing extended periods of power loss. The Town also has challenging manmade hazards nearby, in form of the CSX rail line (Metropolitan Subdivision), Roberts Oxygen, and the County Equipment Maintenance and Operations Center (EMTOC) in close proximity to each other.
We are formalizing a plan for clear procedures to deal with emergency situations, including a chain of command, continuity of operations, interfacing with emergency responders, and mobilizing town residents to assist in emergencies.
Improved Infrastructure for Emergencies
The Town has installed a generator system to power the Town office and enable McCathran Hall to be used as a shelter or staging area in times of emergencies. Based on feedback from emergency responders, we are investigating how to help them locate specific addresses by improving the visibility of street and house number signage, and locate fire hydrants by marking them with high visibility posts.
Improved Town Communication
We are also investigating possible improvements to the way emergency information is delivered to Town residents. Because different communication infrastructures might fail during emergencies, we are looking into not only electronic communication such as e-mails and text messages, but also phone trees and door-to-door visits by Neighborhood Watch. We are also communicating with the local emergency response agencies to be better informed about what to expect during catastrophic emergencies.
Strengthen Resident Volunteers
Neighborhood Watch is being re-established not only with crime watch and prevention tasks, but also as a general neighbor awareness organization that is familiar with the needs of neighbors and will be able to coordinate with the Washington Grove Cares volunteer group to help residents in times of need. We are encouraging residents to take advantage of various training opportunities that are available from organizations such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Red Cross (CPR/AED), and Community Animal Response Team (CART). Well-trained residents can be a tremendous help during catastrophic situations.
Everybody Be Prepared
All residents should be prepared for emergencies. Refer to the Emergency Preparedness Checklist (PDF) to make a plan, create an emergency kit, and stay informed. Please don’t forget the needs of your pets as well as your neighbors.
Agendas and Minutes
You can view all agendas and minutes for meetings in the Committee’s Google docs folder at bit.ly/WG-EPSCmteDocs.
The latest news from the Committee is described in the EPS Committee section of the most recent monthly Town Bulletin.