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The purpose of Emergency Management is to help communities reduce vulnerability to hazards and cope with disasters. We do this in a variety of ways. Here in Purcell, we utilize what’s known as the “Five Phases of Emergency Management”: Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, & Recovery.
Prevention refers to protective measures that prevent incidents from occurring. While we understand that many disasters (such as tornadoes & ice storms) cannot be prevented– we can take preventive measures that will lessen the severity of those events. Planning is key. We maintain a city-wide Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), a Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP), and a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP), that provides the framework for our response and recovery from these events.
Mitigation refers to activities that are aimed at reducing the loss of life and property as the result of an incident. These include things like floodplain permitting, road & bridge repair projects, brush maintenance and debris removal.
Preparedness is an ongoing process to prepare for disaster. It isn’t just something the city is responsible for; preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. In the event of a major disaster, help may be days or weeks away. Therefore, each household should have at least 3 days of food, water, medications, and supplies for everyone in the home (including pets). As the city’s Emergency Manager, I take preparedness seriously at home. I cannot effectively do my job and help the community if I’m worried about my family at home. Some items to consider are:
· Storm Shelter (or a plan for where to go during severe weather)
· First Aid Kit
· Water/Water Filtration
· Pet Supplies (Food, Water, Leashes, Meds)
· Warm Clothing
· Extra Blankets
· Secondary Heat Source
Preparedness also includes activities such as: Fire Drills, Evacuation Drills, Active Shooter Drills, Public Education & Outreach (look for Emergency Management’s table at local special events for disaster and preparedness information and educational materials).
Response refers to activities that take place after an incident has occurred. These include: the activation of an Emergency Operations Center, mass notifications, implementing the Emergency Operations Plans, evacuation of threatened populations, coordination of resources, opening shelters and providing mass care, obtaining resources for emergency rescue & medical care, firefighting, and urban search and rescue operations.
Q: What type of events do we respond to?
- Fires (structural, wildland, vehicle, etc.)
- Hazardous Materials Incidents
- Technical Rescue / Complex Incidents
- Severe Weather Incidents (Tornadoes, High Winds, Ice Storms, etc.)
In Purcell, Emergency Management often responds to the scene of incidents to assist with whatever is needed until other responders arrive: firefighting, vehicle extrication, medical care, etc. You may see the Purcell Emergency Management’s emergency vehicle around town. It is equipped with full personal protective equipment, firefighting turnout gear, helmets, gloves, cold weather gear, tools, tow rope, rain gear, a trauma bag, 2-way radios, etc.
About Emergency Manager Rachael Huey
I came to Purcell with many years of experience in Emergency Management and as a First Responder (firefighter & EMT). It is my goal (as vast as it may be) to ensure that the city, and each household within it, is prepared for any emergency. As a community, we must be ready and able to care for ourselves and our neighbors when disaster strikes.
You may be asking: “Where do I start?”
- Sign up for notifications from our Blackboard Connect by following the link below:
Receive Alerts about Weather and Outages
- Follow our “Purcell Emergency Management” Facebook Page by visiting the link below:
Purcell Emergency Management Facebook Page
- Sign up for a First Aid & CPR Course
- Visit www.ready.gov for guidance on preparedness activities by visiting the link below:
- Read FEMA's guide to be prepared for all kinds of situations by visiting the link below:
Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness PDF
- Stock up on First Aid Supplies
- Set aside 3 days’ worth of food and water for your household (start small by buying one or two extra items each week to add to your stash. Before you know it– you’ll have everything you need!)
*Check back often as I implement preparedness info and activities that everyone can do.