LEPC meeting deals with disaster readiness
The Local Emergency Planning Committee met in their January meeting. A short video was shown on the affects of CO2 and possible side effects and risks. The video showed a worker at a McDonalds in Arizona who became sick when she went downstairs at the McDonalds. Leaky CO2 tanks for the soft drinks were to blame. Capt. Kyle Ekker, the chairman of the LEPC said local businesses in Emery County need to be aware of these tanks and make sure all CO2 tanks and equipment are in good working order for the safety of customers and employees. These businesses should make sure they have CO2 monitors in place and working.
The Carbon/Emery Awareness and Preparedness Fair for 2012 will be held at the Carbon County Events Center on April 27. All LEPC members are expected to help out in promoting and helping with the fair.
The Emery County Emergency Operations Plan is near completion. Each of the cities can adopt the county plan. They can also add an addendum to the plan specific to their city.
Capt. Ekker said, "This is a fluid document, we expect changes to it each year as things change and plans are updated and refined." He suggested the council members for each of the cities take the plan to their city council meetings for approval. The county will operate as close to the plan as possible during an emergency. This protects the county when it comes time to apply for disaster funding with FEMA. Plans must be in place before a disaster strikes. It's important to plan ahead and train now so when the disaster hits everyone knows their role. With the nuclear power plant near Green River moving forward, it's important to work with all parties involved and get the training done now.
The Red Cross was going to contact the school district for permission to use the schools as shelters in the event of a disaster. The agreement must be in place before the disaster.
Also in a disaster all volunteers hours should be kept track of for inkind matches with FEMA. Volunteers who can't help with actual clean-up can take down the names of volunteers and document their hours. Doing these types of things correctly will help to get money back into your communities to deal with disaster cleanup and repair.
CERT trainings will take place throughout the county and anyone wishing to volunteer is encouraged to get involved.
On April 17, 18 and 19 will be a statewide earthquake training. This area will be involved with a tabletop exercise. The LEPC will help educate the community on earthquake preparedness and will have articles in the paper and information available at community events. They will also work with the schools on earthquake preparedness and teaching the students what to do in the event of an earthquake.
Kent Houghton is the mine safety office director, he reported in 2010 mining deaths across the nation were at 21. Dugout Mine is down half the employees and they are working at bringing mining equipment from West Ridge to Lila Canyon Mine. The local mines are working on safety training.
All local fire departments are down on volunteers and anyone wishing to volunteer should contact the district fire chief Greg Oliver at 820-2510.
All city workers and officials need to become NIMS compliant and need to continue taking these courses which are available on line.
Chris Bardsley from the Emery Medical Center reported there has been one case of flu so far this season.
The health department will conduct training with all four counties (Emery, Grand, San Juan and Carbon). They will train on communicating with satellite phones. The Medical Reserve Corp. is still active and searching for new members who have health care training.
Julie Johansen from Castle Dale City said their ladder truck is no longer functional and wants the county to be aware that the Western side of the county doesn't have a ladder truck because the Castle Dale truck was available for use countywide. Green River has a small ladder truck.
Capt. Ekker said they will approach the fire district to see what their plans are and will help them look for grants and funding because with the taller buildings in the county and the power plants the county should not be without a ladder truck.
The next emergency planning meeting will be on March 21. Each city should appoint and send a representative to these meetings.