Prep Talk: Emergency management takes step up
A total of 22 new community volunteers stepped up in the FEMA Integrated Emergency Management Course this week in Hood River. The training and drill drew 90 people from a diverse collection of local agencies ranging from law enforcement and dispatch, county offices including juvenile, finance, and clerk, both cities and ports, schools, Rotary, fire and emergency services, health care facilities, and more.
Authorities spoke of the high sense of cooperation and melding of resources in the training, led by four trainers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to County Emergency Services Manager Barb Ayers, who put the event together.
More details to come on this expansive new phase of emergency preparedness; it builds on collaboration that already exists, with new impetus including an updated Emergency Operations Center and an increased focus on coordinating the wide array of resources in the Mid-Columbia region. Table top exercises included a chemical spill that closed I-84; an earthquake simulation was scrapped in order to stage a drill based on the actual conditions outside: the snow and ice storm that hit the Gorge in two phases over the past week.
And among the resources that have been added to a long roster in the area are those 22 new volunteers, ranging from Rotary to the Rockford Grange, people who will gain further training and be able to provide expertise and resources and marshal them from within their organizations. It creates a broader network, but as Pete Hughes of the Sheriff’s Office pointed out, emergency management starts with each citizen’s ability to initially take care of themselves in the face of a disaster or incident in which resources, no matter how well coordinated or enhanced, will always be stretched thin.
Presidential proclamation: Death of John Glenn
As a mark of respect for the memory of John Glenn, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions, until sunset on the day of internment. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
— President Barack Obama
John Glenn will be interred Saturday, Dec. 17.