Local officials working to revise county’s pre-disaster plan

        The first public hearing for the update to the Prairie County Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan was held February 6  at the Prairie County Courthouse. There were thirteen persons in attendance and Julie Jones of Single Tree Consulting.
Jones explained to the participants that this is an update from the 2005 plan which needs to be approved by the Montana Disaster Emergency Services by June, 2012.  
The previous plan had ranked the following disasters as follows:
               1)  Minimize the impacts of drought
              2)  Reduce the effects of winter storms
               3)  Reduce the impacts of flooding
               4)  Improve capabilities to prepare for and respond to disasters
               5)  Reduce potential for spread of 
                    vector-born and other serious 
              6)  Reduce power outages and effects
                   of outages
              7)  Reduce the economic impacts
                   of businesses closed as result of 
After three Local Emergency Planning Committee meetings, it was determined that the following disasters are ranked as follows for the new 2011-2012 plan:
  •   Seasonal Storms
  •   Wildfires
  •   Oil and Natural Gas Pipeline
  •   Hazardous Materials
  •   Drought 
  •   Transportation Accidents
  •   Communicable Disease and Bioterrorism
  •   Structure Fires
It was suggested by one of the participants to add a section about mass casualties. Even though it had been implied throughout the plan, it was felt that it was  important to do an entire section on it.  A section will be included addressing this issue, behind structure fires.  
Prairie County Sheriff Bill Klunder, suggested that transportation accidents be ranked as number 4, instead of 6. Hazardous Materials and Drought would follow. 
Jones went through the mitigation strategies with the participants and determined whether they have been implemented, partially implemented, not implemented, or are ongoing.  
The next public hearing addressing the Pre-Diaster Mitigation Plan for Prairie County is scheduled for February 28 at noon at the Prairie County Courthouse. Anyone interested in attending the meeting is welcome. 

Published February 15, 2012

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