What does an emergency manager do when the rivers are not over flowing, the sky stays a robinís egg blue, no smoke in the horizon, and the wind does not blow? This one plans for future disasters, thatís what.
This fall and winter I will be meeting with town officials around the county and making plans to deal with various disasters. No one is able to predict where, when, or how something bad will happen, but we can plan on who will make up the team to deal with that particular type of disaster. Who will take care of what in those first hours of an emergency? Where can we get the supplies, equipment and people necessary to deal a particular emergency? Who takes over if that townís leadership is not capable of fulfilling elected functions? Who is going to pay the bills for the emergency response? A good emergency response plan answers these questions before the emergency occurs. Your elected officials and I are going to answer these questions.
One of the weaknesses that come up in all scenarios that we plan for is communication to the population. We have sirens in most communities, but how do we tell you to stay in-doors or that you need to evacuate your homes? How do we get out the latest information? How do we squelch rumors? TV and radio are not always reliable. There are too many of us who get our information from alternative means.
Many of us have Face Book or Twitter. Spink County Emergency Management is going to expand the use of these social media sites to help with notifications. Last year we used Face Book during a search and rescue exercise with great success. If you live in Spink County ďfriendĒ the Spink County Emergency Management page. This will be one of the ways that information will be passed on to the citizens. Look for a twitter account to be set up in the near future.
So this is what I do when there are no disasters happening. I plan for disasters. Letís all hope and pray that all we ever have to do is plan for emergencies.