By Myrna Trauntvein
Mona City is well on the way to developing a community emergency response plan.
In March, Jonathan Jones, council member, requested that he be authorized to begin the work of developing such a plan. As a result, a few organizational and planning meetings have been held with Jones as the spearhead.
Those interested in participating as volunteers on the committee have been requested, via the city's website and Facebook page, to submit their names to Jones and to attend planning meetings.
"At our kick-off meeting, there was a good turn-out," said Jones. "That was an introductory meeting where those in attendance introduced themselves."
It has been decided that meetings will be every second and fourth Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. City Council meeting will follow at 7:30 p.m.
He said that the first step when developing an emergency response plan was to conduct a risk assessment to identify potential emergency scenarios.
"At our meeting tonight (Tuesday), there were less people than at that first two meetings," said Jones. "But we are continuing to work to develop a plan."
The committee had met with the county offices that would be involved if the community did have an emergency incident. Those included the sheriff's office, emergency medical personnel, the fire department and the school.
"The sheriff was present at our meeting, as well," said Jones.
He said that the committee was continuing to move forward in making certain that the city did have a plan of action in case of any type of emergency.
"There is a lot of support," said Jones. "There are a lot of resources available. We talked about forming mutual aid partners."
The emergency plan will address plans in case of fire, severe weather events, an exterior airborne hazard such as a chemical release and lockdown.
Lockdown is protective action when faced with an act of violence.
When an emergency occurs, the first priority is always life safety. The second priority is the stabilization of the incident.
The plan should also include a process for damage assessment, salvage, protection of undamaged property and cleanup following an incident. These actions to minimize further damage and disruption are examples of property conservation.
With the nearness to the freeway, incidents, like one that happened a decade ago, might be centered around a tanker truck crash which might release a chemical cloud or the release of fumes that could be a fire hazard.
Emergency responses to earthquakes, winter storms, floods, wildfires or acts of terrorism need to be planned for.
"We had problems with the siren on April 17," said Bill Mills, mayor.
It was supposed to go off at 10:15 a.m. as part of the state-wide Utah ShakeOut earthquake program. However, he said, the siren failed.
That problem is being taken care of so that the siren can be counted on in times of emergency to warn residents.
Great ShakeOut earthquake drills help people in homes, schools, and organizations across the U.S. and worldwide improve preparedness and practice how to respond in case of an earthquake.
"I will attend the local LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Committee) meetings," said Jones.
The Juab County LEPC director and chair is Fred Smalley, Juab County Sheriff's Office.
"Any adult that is interested in emergency preparedness planning for Juab County entities, personal, business or government related interests," said Smalley, "are all welcome."
Those meetings are usually held every third Wednesday, or as otherwise notified, at the Juab County Sheriff's Office starting at 7 p,m.
Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is a committee appointed by the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), as required by Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). It develops emergency plans for Local Emergency Planning Districts, collects material safety data sheet (MSDS) forms and chemical release reports. It also provides this information to the public.
"We will continue to move forward," said Jones. "I will keep the council and the public aware of our progress."