Everyone reads or hears of emergencies every day. They do not discriminate on where they happen, who and what they effect, time of the day, or day of the week. So being prepared for these emergencies will allow us to safely manage the situation. Being prepared is the first step to effectively handling the emergency that is confronting you.
Shelby County has a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), it is made up of representatives from police, fire, emergency, health department, hospital, Red Cross, community leaders and manufacturers. The main emphasis of the LEPC is related to chemical emergency preparedness and response. The LEPC has developed a comprehensive plan that helps our communities better prepare and respond to this type of emergency. The plan also covers other potential hazards that may occur.
The village of Jackson Center meet regularly with the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) to help in the formulation of our emergency plans and procedures. While meeting with the EMA the village of Jackson Center realized they needed to do more than putting their input into the plans and procedures.
The village decided to do training to test their plan and procedures. So, every year the village holds a tabletop exercise for the village. A tabletop exercise is a meeting of local officials to discuss a simulated emergency situation. They review and discuss the actions they would have taken in a particular emergency situation. This tests their emergency action plan in an informal, low stress environment.
All village departments participate as well as the fire, police, rescue, county EMA, state EMA, school, and local factories. This has been a great way to test our plan and preparedness and we have addressed a few short falls we come across. One was redundancy to our radio system, and the second was a mass notification system for our village. Both have been addressed and are being implemented into our emergency plan.
Preparedness needs to happen at all levels, and the most important level is you and your family. For more information on the Shelby County LEPC visit http://co.shelby.oh.us/emergency-management-agency/4480-2/ or like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ShelbyCoEMA.
The writer is the village administrator of Jackson Center.