City updates Emergency Operations Plan |

City updates Emergency Operations Plan

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The city has completely revamped its Emergency Operations Plan – hundreds of pages of directives focusing on handling an array of crises. It was last updated in 2004.

“I think we have really made an effort to address emergency response citywide,” said Fire Chief Stacey Giomi. “A lot of people worked very hard on this.”

In the last year, scores of city employees have completed emergency training.

“It has been invaluable because it helped in the emergencies we have run,” said Andrew Burnham, the city’s development services director. This includes the response required during the New Year’s weekend flooding.

Giomi and Burnham said employees involved with flood-related work learned a lot, providing insight that could help when the next emergency arises.

Emergency operation plans have been required by the state and federal governments for decades, since the Civil Defense Act of 1950. The plans have become more sophisticated during the years. And the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks brought with them an array of new requirements and potential problems, Giomi said.

Also incorporated into the plan were stipulations of the National Incident Management System. It was developed by the Department of Homeland Security for emergency operations plans created by local governments.

It directs municipalities and state governments on how to potentially handle “individual domestic incident management and emergency prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation programs and activities.”

Federal law doesn’t require use of the system, but “it is recommended practice” and could be tied to the city’s ability to obtain additional federal funding, Giomi said.

Supervisors will be asked to approve the plan during their Thursday meeting.

Adoption of the plan, Giomi said, will “ensure we are continually ready to handle emergencies and disasters.”

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.