Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Planning for an Emergency

This week several city employees are in Emmitsburg, Maryland to receive training on what to do in case of an emergency. Last week, we also had a group who attended this training.

I have been with the group this week, who is getting specific training on Recovery and Mitigation when disaster strikes. FEMA covers the costs of these trainings and we are lucky to have Lisa Schwartz, a great Emergency Response Coordinator,  for Taylorsville City.

My team includes Mayor Russ Wall, Scott Harrington (CFO), Lisa Schwartz, Rosie Rivera (Police Lieutenant), Mark McGrath (Community Development Director), Del Craig (Police Chief) and Patrick Tomasino (Building Official).

We attend classes all day and receive training on how to put the city back together in an emergency situation. We learn how to prioritize needs, get information to the public, and put together long-term plans to improve the community after a disaster.

One of the best parts of this training is the simulated recovery exercise. They put us in the roles we would be in during a disaster. My role is the Public Information Officer - to make sure timely information is disseminated to the public. At the end of the week, I will post information on this exercise and how we did.

For the time being, it is important for residents to make their own plans in case of emergency. Sit down with your family and discuss a family emergency plan, get your 72 hour kits together, have water and food storage and find out the school and your work emergency plans include. Get involved with your neighborhood emergency planning and ask how you can contribute on a neighborhood or city level. Go to www.bereadyutah.gov for more information and forms you can download and print.

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