Sandoval briefed on emergency procedures
Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval toured the Carson City Fusion Center and Joint Operations Center complex Tuesday, receiving a briefing on the center’s capabilities in emergencies from earthquakes to terror attacks and flooding.
The tour and briefing came in the wake of a scare last week that dams along the Colorado River in Arizona and Utah could rupture, flooding parts of Southern Nevada. There was flooding in the Mesquite area several years ago as well as the 1997 flooding along the Truckee River through Reno, both of which prompted not only a governor’s declaration of emergency but a presidential declaration, freeing up millions worth of financial assistance as well as support from the National Guard and other agencies.
“If those dams had breached, we would have moved forward with a governor’s declaration,” said Frank Siracusa, head of the Division of Emergency Management.
He told Sandoval a governor’s declaration of emergency gives the governor the power to act unilaterally on a wide range of issues, putting the state under martial law until the emergency is over.
He said the center’s job is to bring all necessary resources together in case of emergency, coordinating efforts all the way from local government to the federal government to manage the emergency.
Sandoval questioned the process of keeping the governor informed before that stage is reached. Siracusa said at every stage of a developing emergency, the governor is briefed by Siracusa himself or the head of the Department of Public Safety.
The state-of-the-art Fusion Center is in the Nevada National Guard complex at Fairview and Saliman in south Carson City. It is a secure facility with multiple lines of communication to the outside world no matter what type of emergency the state may be facing.
Siracusa said the center even has the ability to seal itself off in case of biological or chemical attacks. It has its own generators as well as air-handling system, stored food and other supplies for at least two weeks if necessary.