City officials are now up to speed on the city’s emergency management plan adopted earlier this year.
Aldermen and other city staff member, along with Mayor Mike Livengood, were required to take part in a recent training session to learn the fundamentals of a newly adopted emergency management plan.
The plan outlines the chain of command when a disaster strikes, including an earthquake, tornado or even a terrorist attack.
“It opens everybody’s eyes,” Livengood said. “You would like to think something like that would never happen here, but we don’t know that.”
According to City Administrator Russell Rost, officials learned how to operate under the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
“It is a nationwide standard for continuity so responses during these situations are more efficient and quicker,” he said.
Livengood added that all aldermen should take responsibility during emergencies.
“It’s a good program for the basic groundwork on how procedures work so everyone works together,” he said. “If we don’t have organization there is too much redundancy.”
The city adopted an updated plan earlier this year that outlines the need and objectives if a disaster strikes Union.
Rost, who also is the city’s emergency management director, said the plan identifies risks, and specifies ways to mitigate those risks.
He added that the city had a plan in place, but needed to make changes to keep up with state and federal mandates.
According to Rost, the board of aldermen listed the plan as an objective as part of the emergency management director’s position.
The city hired a private contractor, Jason Campbell, who has a master’s degree in emergency management to complete the plan. Campbell was hired on a part-time basis.
Objectives of the emergency management plan include:
• Prevent avoidable disasters and reduce the city of Union’s vulnerability to any disasters that might occur;
• Establish capabilities necessary for protecting residents from a disaster and its effects;
• Respond effectively to a disaster that occurs within the city of Union; and
• Provide for the timely recovery following a disaster that has impacted the city.
The plan will be reviewed annually.
Rost said there most likely will be full-scale exercises of the plan each year.