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City Management Blog:
Author: Roger Carter
Recently I was able to attend a week-long training on emergency operations with our city's emergency operations director, Chief Jim Keith. This training was conducted by FEMA and took place at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD.
The purpose of this training was to receive instruction and practical experience in the proper running of an emergency operations center (EOC). We received classroom instruction for several days and were then placed in a working EOC to run emergency scenarios for a simulated disaster(s) for a community. The training was intense and demonstrated the challenges that occur while trying to manage uncertain situations during an emergency.
Washington City has had a written emergency operation plan for many years. As a staff, we practice aspects of the plan several times a year. During the last 10 years we have opened our EOC on a few occasions to deal with floods and power outages. Each year we try to improve upon the physical assets we need to properly deal with an emergency; this has included the purchases of mobile generator units, emergency supply pods, etc.
Life safety and property protection are the most important roles for local government to take on. To do this effectively good planning and constant training are necessary. This aspect of good governance is a high priority for Washington City and its staff.
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