The Pacific Police Department will beef up its emergency response efforts, following last week’s devastating storm, according to Police Chief Matt Mansell.

During a record-breaking cold streak, when temperatures plunged to minus zero, many Pacific and area residents lost power for several hours two days in a row.

Ameren, responding to a new city of Pacific ordinance that requires utilities to notify city officials of service outages, telephoned City Administrator Harold Selby to explain the causes of the power outage.

“They said your new ordinance says we have to notify you,” Selby said. “They explained exactly what happened, how they were addressing it and when the power should be back on. It’s a good law.”

Speaking at the Jan. 7 board meeting, Mansell also addressed the hours when citizens had no power. He said the city experienced no serious traffic problems and had no emergency calls concerning the weather.

“But after a call from The Missourian about possible needs of homebound individuals, I talked with Dian Becker, emergency management director, and as soon as this is over we’re going to beef up our approach to emergencies,” Mansell said.

Pacific has a large number of surviving spouses, he noted, who live alone and don’t drive. Mansell said he knew one personally he had telephoned to see if she needed anything.

“Dian (Becker) has a list, which may be out of date, of people who live alone,” Mansell said. “We need to put together a contact procedure just to check on these folks during an emergency.”