Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
Edgerton will soon partner with Johnson County Fire District No.1 to develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan to be used in case of a major disaster.
Trig Morley, FD No.1 battalion chief, said the formalization of an emergency preparedness plan will put the community in a better position to deal with major emergencies and serves as an important tool in the recovery process.
Morley said at the March 14 council meeting that the comprehensive plan is geared towards dealing with all kinds of emergencies including floods, tornadoes and even disease outbreaks and epidemics.
“It’s an all-hazards approach,” he said.
He said the plan assigns responsibility for carrying out specific actions during an emergency and sets forth lines of authority and organizational relationships ensuring that all actions are coordinated.
The plan, which will be based on Kansas Planner, a statewide tool developed by the state government, will integrate with the Johnson County Emergency Preparedness Plan.
Morley said the process of developing the plan will include an analysis of hazards, testing the plan and outlining the basis for its maintenance and revision.
“It’s nice to make the plan community specific,” he said adding that for example Edgerton would need to consider rail traffic as a hazard that may not be present in other areas.
Included in the plan is the establishment of an emergency operations center from which to coordinate all activities during an emergency.
He said the center needs to be both physical and virtual and integrate with incident command system.
Morley said that plan will also incorporate a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) which specifies alternative places for city workers to perform their duties in case of disruption.
Don Roberts, mayor, asked how long it would take to complete the plan.
“It’s a multi-year process. Get started now and get caught up,” Morley said.
Ron Conus, councilmember said the plan needs to be kept simple.