Tag Archives: emergency management

Maine | Bruce Fitzgerald nominated to serve as Director of MEMA

Governor Paul R. LePage announced today that he has selected Bruce Fitzgerald of South China to serve as the director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

“Bruce has distinguished himself as an expert in the emergency management field through his many years at MEMA, and I am pleased to nominate him as the director,” said Governor LePage. “Bruce is the right man to manage the agency in times of emergency.”

Fitzgerald joined the MEMA staff in 2003, beginning as a program manager for Homeland Security grants, progressing to the Homeland Division Director and then serving as acting director. He served at MEMA through numerous state emergencies and Presidentially declared disasters, notably during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day and Patriot’s Day storms in 2007 and, more recently, during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Maine.

“I’m pleased and honored to have been selected by the Governor for this position. I look forward to continued service with MEMA leading this important agency,” said Fitzgerald. “I am confident that the professionals of the Maine Emergency Management Agency will continue to provide the high level of service to Maine’s citizens to which we have all become accustomed.”

The MEMA Director reports to The Commissioner of Defense, Veterans’, and Emergency Management (DVEM) and directly to the Governor during times of emergency.

Fitzgerald’s nomination is subject to final confirmation by the Maine Senate.

New Brunswick | Ice storm update – Warming centers remain on standby

The Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Measures Organization issued the following prolonged cold weather advisory today:

The provincial emergency operations centre remains activated. There, the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization continues to co-ordinate its emergency response through its regional co-ordinators.

Warming centres / shelters remain on standby and if you need assistance you should call the Canadian Red Cross at 1-800-222-9597.

There is also help for persons running low on supplies such as fire wood or kerosene. Contact the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization toll-free at 1-800-561-4034.

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization is co-ordinating with NB Power to identify priority areas and to arrange for equipment to help crews reach difficult areas. Crews continue to work to restore power as soon as possible. For updates on power outages, visit the NB Power website.

Department of Social Development

For clients in affected areas who are running out of food, the Department of Social Development is encouraging them to contact their case managers. Non-clients in emergency situations may contact the department and will be assessed case-by-case.

Telephone contacts:

●    Daytime: Saint John region, from Sussex to St. Stephen: 1-866-441-4340.
●    Daytime: McAdam and Harvey Station: 1-866-444-8838.
●    After-hours: 1-800-442-9799.

The Department of Health (public health branch) advises that all perishable food left in refrigerators more than 24 hours without electricity should be discarded. Frozen foods left in a freezer will stay frozen for a few days without electricity if the door is kept shut. These products can be refrozen if ice crystals are still present.

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures to remain very cold for the next few days. Extreme wind chill warnings remain in effect for parts of the province. During the prolonged cold, the EMO is encouraging people to check on their neighbours, especially anyone who might be vulnerable. Pets should be brought indoors.

The public is advised to monitor future forecasts and warnings. A list of weather warnings is available from Environment Canada online.

For information about what to do during and immediately after a power outage, visit the Get Prepared website.

LINKS:

●    Get Prepared
●    NB Power
●    Environment Canada (public alerts)

New York | Emergency planning calendar mailed to residents near nuclear power plants

The 2014 edition of the Oswego County “Public Emergency Response Information” calendar has been mailed to residents in the 10-mile emergency planning zone near the nuclear power plants in Scriba, Terry Bennett, Emergency Services Program Coordinator of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, announced today.

The calendar is a joint effort of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, Entergy, the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, and the New York State Office of Emergency Management. It contains guidelines for public response to radiological and other types of emergencies for people that live within ten miles of Nine Mile Point. The calendar features stunning photographs of landscape and outdoor scenes throughout Oswego County. Contributors for the 2014 calendar include Julie Valentine, Sue Bertsch, Sylvia Fields, Annette Syrell, Celia Potter, Bob Kester, Roger Beck, Chad Whelsky, Paige Gray, and David Hertzler.

“This year, we highlighted photos that have been submitted to us in past years, because we’ve received so many outstanding ones in the years we’ve published the calendar,” said Bennett. “We appreciate the talented photographers who allowed us to use their artwork.”

The calendar also includes a schedule for testing the county’s prompt notification system, including the sirens and tone-alert weather radios. If a radiological emergency occurs, people should turn to an Oswego County Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio or television station for information.

The publication also contains:

” Maps, bus pick-up points and evacuation routes in the emergency response planning areas;

” Examples of protective actions that people could be asked to take during a radiological emergency;

” A list of EAS stations;

” Instructions for people who need special assistance;

” Directions to the reception center at the New York State Fairgrounds; and

” Instructions for people in schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

People in the 10-mile emergency planning zone who might need special assistance are asked to fill out and return the detachable, postage-paid postcard on the back cover of the calendar.

“We ask people with special needs to register with the Emergency Management Office,” said Bennett. “We want to make sure we have current information so that appropriate arrangements can be made for necessary assistance. Anyone who knows someone who may need special assistance during an emergency may return a postcard on his or her behalf.”

 

Ontario | City of Toronto #icestorm update to Dec 28 2013

The City of Toronto is continuing to provide updated information on ongoing impacts and the City’s response to the ice storm. Toronto’s Emergency Operations Centre continues to support the ongoing response efforts.

Hydro Update
Toronto Hydro is reporting that approximately 18,000 customers are now without power.

Hydro crews are continuing to work around the clock to restore service. It is expected to take several more days to fully restore power to all the affected areas. Personnel from Sault Ste Marie, Windsor, Ottawa and Manitoba are assisting with the restoration efforts. Crews are currently focusing on neighbourhoods and individual homes still affected by outages. The utility is closely monitoring the weather. If winds pick up this could trigger more outages.

In situations where the homeowner is required to make repairs before the power can be restored, the homeowner will need to provide Hydro with the ESA inspection certificate number and customer contact information. Homeowners are advised to call 416-542-8000 with this information so that Hydro can initiate a work order.

The City’s Emergency Operations Centre has been working closely with Toronto Police Services, Toronto Hydro, the TTC and TCHC through door-to-door canvassing to identify vulnerable residents that require special assistance.

There are currently 50 Forestry crews and 15 staff in single vehicles triaging calls and working closely with Toronto Hydro. The Forestry crews work to clear downed trees and fallen branches and facilitate access for hydro crews to work on power restoration. There are also 13 forestry crews from Ottawa and London that are assisting Toronto’s forestry staff with debris removal.

All motorists, especially truck drivers, are reminded to watch for low hanging wires particularly on residential streets.

Members of the public are urged to be aware of their surroundings. Rising temperatures are causing falling ice. Residents are urged to exercise caution around buildings, large structures (such as cranes), and vehicles, particularly around large trucks. Residents are also urged to exercise extreme caution and avoid walking under trees that are covered in ice, particularly in parks, wooded valleys, and near playgrounds.

Toronto Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Call volumes continue to be higher, but are approaching normal levels for both Toronto EMS and Toronto Fire Services.

Residents are urged to not operate propane, natural gas or charcoal barbecues indoors as they can create a dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning hazard if not properly vented. Also, do not use a stove or camping gear for heating your home, as they can similarly create a carbon monoxide poisoning and burn hazard. Ensure battery backup is operating for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Exercise extreme caution when using candles.
When power does return to your home, check all appliances and ensure they are running properly.

The Ontario Provincial Police and Toronto Police Services have been canvassing door-to-door in neighbourhoods where power outages continue. Residents are asked to please check on seniors and vulnerable residents.

Community Care Access Centre Clients
Community Care Access Centre clients who use home oxygen and have concerns can call 310-2222 (no area code required) for assistance. All others are asked to contact their oxygen supplier for assistance.

Trees, Debris and Removal
Residents are urged to exercise extreme caution and avoid walking under trees that are covered in ice, particularly in parks, wooded valleys, and near playgrounds.

City staff from Transportation, Forestry and Solid Waste Management are working together to address tree debris. Clearing of debris is well underway on major roadways, with a priority on public safety. Crews are currently pushing tree debris to the side of the roads to make them safe and passable, and will focus on residential streets in the coming days. Work to clear all tree debris is expected to begin January 3rd and it will continue for approximately eight weeks, weather permitting.

Tree branches that have fallen on private property and are of a manageable size that can be dragged to the City’s right-of-way (i.e., to the curb) will be picked up. Please do not place debris on the sidewalk or in the roadway. Please keep it on the boulevard, or on your property. You need to provide at least one meter of clearance to ensure those with mobility issues can safely pass.

Large limb or stem (body) wood from private trees that have fallen on private property should not be taken to the curb. Property owners should contact a private contractor to remove this material.

Homeowners do not require a City permit to remove damaged or downed trees that are hazardous. Tree removal may not be needed. Some trees can be saved with proper care and maintenance. Trees may be pruned to remove damaged branches. Please use a professional arborist to ensure safety.

City crews cannot go onto private property to clear private trees that have fallen on private property.

For residents that live in the Asian long-horned beetle quarantine area in Etobicoke, the City crews and private contractors will dispose of this debris in the prescribed manner. Do not take this wood out of the Federal quarantine area. See more information at www.toronto.ca/trees

Toronto Roads and Traffic
The number of signalized intersections without power continues to decrease. An estimated 70 to 80 traffic signals remain without power. Transportation Services expects that number will decrease further today. The City is working closely with Toronto Police to provide point-duty at intersections that require it. Motorists are reminded to treat any intersection without functioning signal lights as an all-way stop.

There are more than 40 Transportation crews currently addressing debris management, and there are more than 40 crews focused on repairing potholes.

Truck drivers are asked to watch for low hanging wires on residential streets.

Parking consideration will be provided for residents who park on the street beyond posted times due to limited access to icy driveways.

Food, Water, Warmth and Rest
The City continues to operate locations across the city where vulnerable residents and those who need assistance can access food, water, warmth and rest. Pets are welcome. Approximately 258 people were accommodated last night.

Here is an amended list of Toronto Community Centre locations:

Dennis R Timbrell Community Centre, 29 St. Denis Dr. (Eglinton/Don Mills)
Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Rd. (Neilson/Finch)
Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane St. (between Finch and Steeles)
Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Ave. (Yonge/Finch)
Joseph P Piccininni Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Ave. W. (St Clair/Keele)
Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard St. E. (Pape/Gerrard) – replacing East York Collegiate Institute
Lawrence Heights Community Centre, 5 Replin Road – replacing Lawrence Heights Middle School
Edithvale Community Centre, 131 Finch Ave. W. (between Bathurst and Yonge)
Pleasantview Community Centre, 545 Van Horne Ave. (between Edmonton and Brian)
McGregor Park Community Centre, 2231 Lawrence Ave. E. (Lawrence/Kennedy)

In addition, 13 Toronto Police Service facilities have been identified as having community rooms available for use 24/7 as warming centres:

Division 11 – 2054 Davenport Road (Davenport/Osler)
Division 12 – 200 Trethewey Drive (Trethewey/Black Creek)
Division 14 – 350 Dovercourt Road (College/Dovercourt)
Division 22 – 3699 Bloor Street West (Bloor West/Dundas West)
Division 23 – 5230 Finch Avenue West (Kipling/Finch)
Division 31 – 40 Norfinch Road (Norfinch/Finch West)
Division 33 – 50 Upjohn Road (York Mills/Don Mills)
Division 42 – 242 Milner Avenue (Milner/Markham)
Division 43 – 4331 Lawrence Ave. E (Lawrence Ave. E/ Kingston Road)
Division 51 – 51 Parliament Street (Front/Parliament)
Division 52 – 255 Dundas Street West (LOBBY ONLY)
Toronto Police Service College – 70 Birmingham Street (Birmingham/Fifth)
Toronto Police Service Headquarters – 40 College Street (College/Bay)

New! Warming centres open until midnight:
Heron Park Community Centre, 292 Manse Road (Kingston/Lawrence)
Don Montgomery Community Centre, 2467 Eglinton Ave. E. (Eglinton/Midland)

Holiday Waste Pickup
Residents are reminded that next week, curbside collection on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will move forward one day. This means that Wednesday collection moves to Thursday, Thursday collection moves to Friday, and Friday collection moves to Saturday. Changes are reflected in the residential collection calendar. Due to downed trees and hydro wires, collection vehicles are not able to reach some areas. There may also be delays. Residents should leave their materials out until they are collected. If required, additional collection crews will work on Monday (not a regularly scheduled collection day).

Food Waste
If you have organic material (food waste) that cannot fit in the Green Bin, please set it out in a clear plastic bag. Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.

Food Safety
Residents who have been without power, or recently had their power restored, are advised to reduce the risk of a food borne illness:
• If you have been without power for 24 hours or longer, all food in the fridge should be thrown out.
• During a power outage of 48 hours or longer, all food in the freezer should be thrown out.
• Any leftover cooked food that cannot be reheated or stored in a working refrigerator or freezer should be thrown out.
Never eat food that looks or smells strange – when in doubt, throw it out.
More food safety tips are available at http://bitly.com/Jxt79e.

Preventing Frozen Pipes
If you don’t have heat for your home and the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a trickle of water so there is some movement of water in pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing.

If you are leaving your home because of no heat, you can shut off the main service valve in your basement and open your lowest tap to drain the water out of your plumbing lines to prevent them from freezing.

TTC
Please check www.ttc.ca for schedule details and service alerts.

GO Transit
Please check www.gotransit.com for schedule details and service updates.

Outdoor Skating Rinks
For current information and status updates, please see www.toronto.ca/skate.

Toronto Public Libraries
You are cordially invited to visit our warm and welcoming spaces: we offer wifi and internet workstations as well as great books, magazines and more. Call your local branch or check www.torontopubliclibrary.ca for details.

Thank You
The City of Toronto would like to extend a sincere thank you to the many partners who have helped in the aftermath of this storm. This includes the Province of Ontario and other municipalities that have sent hydro and forestry crews. The City would also like to thank residents who have assisted our crews by moving tree branches off the roads and onto the boulevards.

Emergency Preparedness
Information and advice about emergency preparedness are available at http://www.toronto.ca/oem.

Social Media Updates
For updates during an emergency event and other City of Toronto information, follow @TorontoComms on Twitter. The City will be using #citystorm when providing updates on the storm.

Ontario | Provincial govt response to ice storm – Updated Dec 28 2013

Ontario is continuing to work around the clock to respond to the ice storm that is still affecting parts of the province.

Significant progress has been made in restoring power to residents across Ontario. Hydro One is working with Toronto Hydro to add more resources to their effort. 56 additional Hydro One staff will begin work in Toronto today.

Efforts are also being made to help people replace food they may have lost as a result of the storm. The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is working with its Supply Chain Alliance partners to obtain and distribute food to these Ontarians. Details of the food distribution efforts are being worked out with municipal and community officials and more precise information will be made available within the next 48 hours.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is coordinating resources across government and working closely with our partners to help restore power and services to all affected communities and keep people safe.

POWER RESTORATION

At the start of the ice storm, over 600,000 customers were without power.

Progress has been made but significant work remains to be done to bring the remaining impacted customers back online. Updates on power outages caused by the storm can be found on most local utility websites or at http://www.ontario.ca/warning.

Hydro utilities in impacted areas are working to get the power back on as soon as possible. In addition, hydro crews from less affected areas of the province and utilities that have completed their restoration efforts are being brought in as they become available to help restore power as quickly as possible.

Customers still without power:

Several hundred Hydro One customers affected by the original outage remain without power. Some communities have experienced other seasonally typical outages, and Hydro One crews are also working to restore power in those cases.

Toronto Hydro: 23,870 customers (300,000 at peak)

Other utilities:

  • Brampton (Hydro One Brampton): 500 customers
  • York Region (Power Stream): 500 customers

**Please note that information comes from a variety of sources and is subject to frequent change as restoration efforts progress and weather develops.

The Province is grateful to local electricity distribution companies across the province who have supported power restoration efforts in a number of different ways.

Toronto Hydro is receiving support from Hydro One crews from Kingston, EnWin, Ottawa Hydro, Sault Ste Marie PUC, Manitoba Hydro, Horizon Utilities and Sudbury Hydro.

Hydro One continues to receive the support of local distribution companies (LDC) from across the province including Peterborough PUC, Newmarket Hydro, Sudbury Hydro, North Bay Hydro, Orangeville Hydro, Orillia Hydro, Midland Hydro and Haldimand Hydro.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Several warming centres are open to give people a respite from the cold – 12 in the City of Toronto, in addition to thirteen Toronto Police Service facilities that have community rooms available for use 24/7 as warming centres.

VaughanMarkhamPickering, Mississauga, Burlington, Brampton and the Town of Halton Hills are also operating warming centres. Ontario has placed provincial buildings on standby in case there is an overflow from city warming and reception centres.

The health system across the GTA has stabilized and hospitals are open and currently able to meet patient needs. The Emergency Medical Action Team (EMAT) has now been fully deactivated.  The EMAT was proactively deployed to Sunnybrook hospital on Dec 23rd;  it offered additional  hospital supports across the GTA in coordination with Toronto Emergency Medical Services and Community Care Access Centres.The team is working with Toronto EMS and Community Care Access Centres to assist with flow and patient management.

The Ontario government is also working with municipalities and volunteer organizations to coordinate visits to seniors and other vulnerable individuals to ensure they are safe.

TRANSPORTATION

In Toronto, all TTC service is running.

Across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, GO Transit reports all trains running on schedule.

STAYING SAFE

  • Ice is melting and falling off trees and tall buildings as a result of warmer temperatures. People should avoid walking under trees and be extremely vigilant while outdoors.
  • The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) constantly monitors evolving situations inside and outside of Ontario. It coordinates the government’s response to major emergencies and is staffed at all times.
  • Steer clear of downed power lines. They could still be live and deadly even if they show no active danger signs.
  • If hydro wires connected to your home appear damaged, do not touch them, even if you believe the power is off. Do not attempt the repairs yourself; instead, call a licensed electrical contractor to do the job. The Electrical Safety Authority has contact information for more than 7,000 licensed contractors at 1-877-372-7233 and www.esasafe.com. Or consult your local telephone directory.
  • Carbon monoxide goes undetected and is deadly. Do not heat your homes with devices that are designed for outdoor use, particularly barbecues and outdoor generators. If you are using an outdoor generator, ensure that the exhaust fumes do not enter your home.
  • Electrically connected smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms do not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-up, so make sure your home has battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Do not leave candles unattended and keep them away from children and loose fabrics. If possible, use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Unplug all unnecessary appliances to protect them from potential power surges as hydro crews work to restore electricity. And make sure the stove is off. Leave on only select lights to let you know that you’re back up and running.
  • Keep a few taps turned on to a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • You can make the most of your cellphone battery by turning down the screen brightness and turning off functions such as Bluetooth, WiFi and location services.
  • Take a moment to check on elderly neighbours and people with mobility issues.

Ontario | Latest update on response to ice storm – Dec 26 2013

Ontario is continuing to work around the clock to respond to the ice storm that is still affecting parts of the province.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is coordinating resources across government and working closely with our partners to help restore power and services to all affected communities and keep people safe.

POWER RESTORATION

At the start of the ice storm, over 600,000 customers were without power.

Progress has been made but significant work remains to be done to bring the remaining impacted customers back online. Updates on power outages caused by the storm can be found on most local utility websites or at http://www.ontario.ca/warning.

Hydro utilities in impacted areas are working to get the power back on as soon as possible. In addition, hydro crews from less affected areas of the province and utilities that have completed their restoration efforts are being brought in as they become available to help restore power as quickly as possible.

Customers still without power:
Hydro One: 13,000 customers (120,000 at peak)

  • Bolton: 857 customers
  • Dundas: 1,498 customers
  • Guelph: 4,944 customers
  • Orangeville: 4,219 customers

Toronto Hydro: 54,000 customers (300,000 at peak)

Other utilities:

  • Brampton (Hydro One Brampton): 1,000 customers
  • Halton Hills Hydro: 2,500 customers
  • York Region (Power Stream): 5,500 customers
  • Durham Region (Veridian): 1,700 customers
  • Milton Hydro: less than 1,000 customers

**Please note that information comes from a variety of sources and is subject to frequent change as restoration efforts progress and weather develops.

The Province is grateful to local electricity distribution companies across the province who have supported power restoration efforts in a number of different ways.

Toronto Hydro is receiving support from Hydro Ottawa, EnWin, Enersource, Manitoba Hydro and Sault Ste. Marie PUC.

Hydro One is receiving assistance from Woodstock Hydro, London Hydro, Tillsonburg Hydro, Festival Hydro, Sudbury Hydro, North Bay Hydro, Orangeville Hydro, Orillia Hydro, Midland Hydro, Haldimand Hydro, Norfolk Hydro, Peterborough PUC, Newmarket Hydro, Ottawa Hydro and Pembroke Hydro.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Several warming centres are open to give people a respite from the cold – 12 in the City of Toronto, in addition to thirteen Toronto Police Service facilities that have community rooms available for use 24/7 as warming centres.
VaughanMarkhamBurlingtonBrampton and the Town of Halton Hills are also operating warming centres. Ontario has placed provincial buildings on standby in case there is an overflow from city warming and reception centres.
As a continued precautionary measure, the Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT) was deployed on Dec 23rd and remains on site at Sunnybrook Hospital with 30 low acuity beds providing 24 hour medical support to hospitals across the city.

The team is working with Toronto EMS and Community Care Access Centres to assist with flow and patient management.
The Ontario government is also working with municipalities and volunteer organizations to coordinate visits to seniors and other vulnerable individuals to ensure they are safe.
TRANSPORTATION

In Toronto, all TTC service is running.

Across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, GO Transit reports all trains running on schedule.
STAYING SAFE

  • The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) constantly monitors evolving situations inside and outside of Ontario. It coordinates the government’s response to major emergencies and is staffed at all times.
  • Steer clear of downed power lines. They could still be live and deadly even if they show no active danger signs.
  • Carbon monoxide goes undetected and is deadly. Do not heat your homes with devices that are designed for outdoor use, particularly barbecues and outdoor generators. If you are using an outdoor generator, ensure that the exhaust fumes do not enter your home.
  • Electrically connected smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms do not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-up, so make sure your home has battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Do not leave candles unattended and keep them away from children and loose fabrics. If possible, use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Unplug all unnecessary appliances to protect them from potential power surges as hydro crews work to restore electricity. And make sure the stove is off. Leave on only select lights to let you know that you’re back up and running.
  • Keep a few taps turned on to a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • You can make the most of your cellphone battery by turning down the screen brightness and turning off functions such as Bluetooth, WiFi and location services.
  • Take a moment to check on elderly neighbours and people with mobility issues.
  • Visually check food for spoilage, but do not taste it. Generally food will keep for 24 to 48 hours, as long as you keep your refrigerator door closed.

Maine | Winter/ice storm settling in over state

The State Emergency Operations Center is activated in response to a major winter storm targeting Maine.

Situation:

A major winter storm is affecting the entire State of Maine. Warnings /Advisories in place:

  • Freezing Rain Advisory (1/4 inch of ice): York County
  • Winter Storm Warning: Significant snowfall, with some sleet and freezing rain: Aroostook, Northern Oxford, Franklin, Penobscot, Central and Northern Somerset and Piscataquis Counties,
  • Ice Storm Warning: One half inch or more of freezing rain: Remainder of the State

National Weather Service indicates that freezing rain and drizzle will continue into Monday in many areas, causing locally dangerous conditions. Because of the long duration, both NWS forecast offices are still forecasting a total of one half to three-quarters of an inch of ice in the warning areas, with local amounts of an inch possible. All parties should continue to monitor local weather forecasts.

Outage reports:

Power outage numbers are fluctuating as restoration takes place and new outages are reported.

Injuries/Fatalities:

  • None reported

Other impacts/responses:

  • The State Emergency Operations Center was activated at 8:00 am at Level 2 status (MEMA staff plus DACF/Forestry, MaineDOT, DPS/Maine State Police, Public Utilities Commission and Red Cross
  • Warming center open at 31 Turkey Lane in Buxton; however has no occupants presently and therefore may close this afternoon
  • The American Red Cross is standing by to staff shelters as the need warrants: no Red Cross shelters are open at this time

Declarations:

  • Governor Paul R. LePage declared a State of Emergency on December 21, to ensure that all State resources would be available to assist affected communities

Critical Safety messages:

  • After ensuring that your family is safe, check in on friends and neighbors who may need assistance. Neighbors helping neighbors save lives. Share safety information with those who might not have received it.
  • Ice on roadways and falling trees and power lines will make travel dangerous or impossible.
  • Travel is strongly discouraged. If you must travel, keep emergency supplies in your car such as flashlight, food and water. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, including plow trucks. “Please don’t crowd the plow”
  • All the utilities are reminding the public that no fallen power line is safe to touch. If you find a downed power line, call your electric utility immediately
  • Death can result from improper use of generators. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, use generators outside only, at least 15 feet away from doors and windows. Have a carbon monoxide detector with battery back-up where people sleep
  • Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, nausea, vomiting or dizziness. Get out of the house and call 911 at once.

For more help and information:

Vermont | Gov Shumlin signs State Emergency Operations Plan

Gov. Peter Shumlin today signed the 2013 State Emergency Operations Plan (SEOP), the official guide for emergency response in the state. 

The plan is updated every five years, and the 2013 version is unique because it integrates lessons learned from the response to Tropical Storm Irene, the most severe storm to hit the state in generations.

“Irene taught us that all levels of government need to be on the same page to carry out an effective response,” Gov. Shumlin said, surrounded by state and local officials, emergency responders, National Guard personnel and others at the Emergency Operations Center in Waterbury.  “We have implemented lessons learned, not just observed, and come up with a plan that will meet the needs of Vermonters before, during, and after a catastrophic event.”

The SEOP supports a unified, all-hazards approach to disaster preparation, response, and recovery.  State agencies, local jurisdictions, and supporting response organizations like the Red Cross and Vermont 2-1-1 worked together to update the plan to reflect what each learned during Irene.

The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) spearheaded and organized the re-write with input from state, local, and emergency partners.  The new plan contains a more robust recovery and restoration section, which was noted as an area that needed significant improvement after the storms and damages of 2011.

“Our previous plans were sufficient for disasters we experienced before 2011,” DEMHS Deputy Director Ross Nagy, who coordinated the plan revision, said.  “We found as we recovered from Irene that we were adapting to conditions and adjusting practices based on needs.  The new plan documents the most effective practices and relationships that grew from the identified response support and recovery needs.”

The plan addresses all hazards that could be faced by Vermonters, from structure fires, to natural disasters, to acts of terrorism.  It also stresses that individual preparedness contributes to a more effective response and recovery.

“Preparedness and planning are not limited to the worst-case scenario or the most likely scenario,” Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said.  “Vermont and Vermonters should be ready for anything and have a plan that can be used before, during, and after any incident that might occur.  We have a blueprint that does just that.”

The complete State Emergency Operations Plan can be viewed on the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security web site at http://vem.vermont.gov/local_state_plans/eop

Vermont | State ranks high on 2013 Health Security Preparedness Index

Vermont scored above the national average in five of six categories of a new National Health Security Preparedness Index that measures a state’s ability to protect public health in the event of epidemics, foodborne disease outbreaks, terrorism and other emergencies.

Overall, Vermont scored 7.7 out of 10 points, compared to the national average of 7.2. States were rated on 128 measures from 35 data sources, including the United Health Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The index results are not intended for ranking states, according to the report, because states face varying threats and should apply common preparedness principles in locally relevant ways.

Administered by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the index shows strengths and challenges in health surveillance, incident and information management, countermeasure management, community planning and engagement, surge management, and Emergency Medical Services.

“Preparedness is an ongoing process and we have steadily built our capacity to respond to a public health threat along with key partners in emergency response in every corner of the state,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. “This is a responsibility we take very seriously, and these national reports are helpful in showing us areas that may need additional work.”

Vermont earned a perfect score in several measures, including the ability to manage and dispense emergency drug supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile, and for its emergency public information and communication plans.

An area where Vermont scored low was managing volunteers during emergencies (1.9 points compared to the national average of 3.7).

To view the report visit: http://www.nhspi.org/

New Hampshire | NH scores average on first National Health Security Preparedness Index

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in cooperation with the Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 20 development partners, today announces the public release of the National Health Security Preparedness Index™ (NHSPI™), a new way to measure and advance the nation’s readiness to protect people during disaster. New Hampshire ranked consistently at or slightly above or below the national average on the measures.

The NHSPI™ is a new tool that presents a single summary measure of each state’s health security preparedness in a consistent, standardized way. It includes 128 pre-event measures of preparedness that are mainly public health and health care system structures, processes, and outcomes. New Hampshire scored 7.1 overall on a 10-point scale, which is just below the national average for all the states of 7.2.

“Health security is a community’s readiness to protect itself from public health threats,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS, “and the NHSPI will help New Hampshire become better prepared to safeguard the health and safety of New Hampshire’s residents. We have come a very long way as a state in our emergency preparedness, but we welcome opportunities that will help us as a State to improve. We will be looking closely at these results in collaboration with our partners in the coming months to see how we can continue to improve and be better prepared.”

New Hampshire scored close to the national average for each of the five categories:

Category NH National
Health Surveillance (monitoring illness) 6.7 7.3
Community Planning & Engagement (coordination & response among partners) 5.8 6.1
Incident Information Management (communication & public information) 8.2 7.7
Surge Management (handling increased numbers of patients) 5.8 5.8
Countermeasure Management (medications, vaccines & other medical response) 8.8 9.0

Included in the Index are measures that range from the number of health professionals per 100,000 residents to measures of social capital and community cohesion. To learn more about the NHSPI™ and read the 2013 results, visit www.nhspi.org.