It’s best to prepare now before an emergency strikes
Jeff Page, the emergency management coordinator for Lyon County, was appointed Thursday by the Lyon County Commissioners as the single point of contact for the National Incident Management System compliance activities. He offers some information and tips on what to do in case of an emergency.
What is the most likely emergency to occur in Lyon County?
Lyon County is susceptible to a number of hazards, including wildfire, flooding/flash flooding, earthquake, hazardous materials incidents, high-wind events and severe weather. The most common events are wildfire, flooding and hazardous materials events.
What are some of the potential emergencies you are preparing for?
Lyon County takes an all-hazards and all-risks approach to preparing for emergencies. This means that we plan, train and exercise our plan to function in all different types of emergencies.
How do you prepare for an emergency that may or may not happen?
Develop an Emergency Operations Plan, train first responders and Emergency Operations Center staff on the plan and exercise the plan to determine strengths and weaknesses of the plan.
Develop and implement purchasing agreements with private vendors and contractors to provide resources during an emergency/disaster.
Work with the school district, local churches and large building owners to establish potential shelter sites.
Work with Animal Services to develop shelter sites for pets and large animals.
Develop and implement a redundant system to warn the public and communicate with them and responders during an emergency.
Educate the public on being prepared for a disaster. A lot of people are under the impression that local, state and federal agencies will take care of them when a disaster hits. This is a dangerous myth. We would like to be able to help every person but the reality is that we will prioritize a disaster site and you may not receive help for several hours or days depending on the type and magnitude of the disaster. We will not see federal assistance for four to seven days after the event has started.
What can residents do to help out in an emergency?
Prepare a disaster kit for your home, car, work, etc., with water, food, blankets, first aid kit and other necessities.
Plan for the worst-case scenario. Make sure everyone in the family knows the plan. Plan for an emergency or disaster that happens when the family is at work and school, determine meeting locations.
Stay out of areas designated unsafe.
Don’t call 911 to get information. An informational number will be broadcast via radio, telephone and television.
If you’re asked to evacuate, do so. We may not be able to come back and get you.
Participate in disaster preparedness or Community Emergency Response Team training.
Do you have agreements with other counties to cooperate in an emergency?
All 17 counties and all incorporated cities have signed the Nevada Emergency Management Assistance Compact. This document allows local government to use each others’ resources during an emergency event and provides for financial and liability concerns.
We will be working with our state and federal partners to develop mutual-aid agreements and inter-local agreements to provide resource support during emergencies.
What is the National Incident Management System?
The National Incident Management System or NIMS is a national standardized system for managing emergency preparedness and emergency response.
How long have you been emergency management coordinator?
I have served in the capacity as the Emergency Management Coordinator since 1999. This was a part time assignment. But 9-11-2001, changed the way emergency management operated and the EMC function began taking more and more time. In 2006, Sheriff Sid Smith realized how much time it was taking and requested the Board of Commissioners to create a new department for Emergency Management.
The position was opened July 1, 2006, and I and three others applied. We were interviewed by a panel consisting of a person from the Central Lyon Fire District, Carson City Fire and Emergency Management Department and the Washoe County Emergency Management. I started as the new department head on Sept. 4, 2006.