The goals of emergency management are to save lives,prevent injuries and protect animals, property and the environment if an emergency occurs. Canyon County Emergency Management (CCEM) is responsible by Idaho statute for carrying out emergency management and coordination functions, disaster mitigation, planning, preparedness,response and recover efforts in the event of an emergency in the county. CCEM is also responsible for maintaining and emergency operations center, located in Caldwell, to provide a coordinated emergency response. A key tool in emergency response is the ability to alert local residents as quickly as possible about emergency conditions. The primary component used to alert Canyon County residents is the Emergency Alert System (EAS) which is broadcast over local radio and television stations. Canyon County also has a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). CCEM provides coordinating support to this organization which holds monthly meetings around the county. CCEM supports and coordinates Citizen Corps activities across the county. The Citizen Corps affiliates include USA on Watch-Neighborhood watch, CERT-Community Emergency Response Teams, Fire Corps, MRC-Medical Reserve Corps, and VIPS-Volunteers in Police Service.
What is Emergency Management?
County emergency management agencies across the nation are responsible for coordinating the emergency and disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recover efforts of the county. Mitigation is defined as “sustained action that reduces or eliminates long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards and their effects.” It describes the ongoing effort at the federal, state, local and individual levels to lesson the impact of disasters upon our families,homes, communities and economy. Canyon County and incorporated cities within the county developed and approved a Hazard Mitigation Plan in2007.
Preparedness means to have plans or preparations already made for reacting promptly and effectively to save lives and help response-and-rescue operations, before and emergency. Preparedness includes having evacuation plans, designating a family meeting place after an emergency and having a disaster supply kit.
Response begins as soon as a disaster is detected or threatens. It involves mobilizing and positioning emergency equipment and personnel, and getting people out of danger. It also means providing needed food,water, shelter, medical services and bringing damaged services and systems back on line. Local responders, government agencies and private organizations take action.
Recovery is the effort to restore infrastructure and social and economic life of a community to normal, or even safer situation, following an emergency or disaster. Recovery can be short-term or long-term.
Individual and Family Emergency Preparedness
The next time disaster strikes, you may not have much time to act. Prepare NOW for a sudden emergency. Learn how to protect yourself, your family and your home. Cope with disasters by planning ahead.
The following information will assist you in getting started. Discuss these ideas with your family, then create a family emergency plan. Post the plan where everyone will see it! You can get more information by viewing the Disaster Preparation Handbook. If you have special needs in an emergency, this handbook has useful information on preparedness for people with mobility or visual disabilities, hearing impairment and other special medical needs.
You can also become better prepared to respond to disasters and emergencies through training. FEMA offers over 100 free on-line training courses through their Emergency Management Institute (EMI). This training can help you, your family, your neighborhood and our community be better prepared when if disaster strikes.
For further training opportunities, please contact the Canyon County Office of Emergency Management. Remember you may be traveling when you experience some type of emergency. Be prepared while away from home. Make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle. Don’t forget your pets. You need to take the necessary precautions to protect them during an emergency.
Here are some steps you can take to prepare yourself and your family for a disaster in our area:
First,you need to know what disasters are most likely to occur in your area. Certainly here in the Treasure Valley, we don’t have to worry about hurricanes or tsunamis. We can, however, experience very high winds,flooding, earthquakes, hazardous material spills, severe winter storms, and wild fires. Next, your family needs to develop an emergency plan, including a family communication plan.
Once you have it developed, you need to review it frequently with your family and practice it, especially on how to safely exit your home in case of a fire.
– Discuss with children the dangers of fire, severe weather, earthquakes, and other emergencies.
– Discuss how to respond to each disaster that could occur.
– Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injuries.
– Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two separate escape routes from each room.
– Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity.
– Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones.
– Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1.
– Keep family records in water and fire proof containers.
– Instruct household members to tune your radio to local radio and television stations for information.
– Pick an out-of-state and one local friend or relative for family members to call if separated during a disaster. (It is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area).
– Pick two meeting places: One near your home, in case of a fire. A second outside your neighborhood, in case you can not return home after a disaster.
Once you have your emergency plan developed, then you need to make sure you have emergency supplies on hand. Time and time again, experience shows that it will take at least 72 hours for emergency workers to get into neighborhoods. An essential part of your emergency preparation should be to assemble the supplies you and your family might need to shelter in place or quickly evacuate. Store your emergency kits in an easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or duffel bag. If you are asked to evacuate, you can put your emergency kits in your car.
Here are some things you should consider in your 72-hour kit:
– A supply of water (one gallon per person, per day). Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers. Replace every six months.
– A supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener.
– A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
– Blankets or sleeping bags.
– First aid kit and prescription medications.
– An extra pair of glasses.
– A battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
– An extra set of car keys.
– A list of family physicians.
– A list of important family information; the style and serial number of medical devices, such as pacemakers.
– Phone numbers for emergency contacts.
– Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.
– A whistle (used to call emergency workers to your location).
– A charged extra battery for your cell phone.
– Cash and credit card.
Local Emergency Planning Committee
The idea that the more informed the community is, the better prepared they will be to cope with potential hazardous materials problems led to the passage of the Federal SARA Title III Community right-to-know Act. Under this federal law, each state was required to set up a State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) composed of persons with technical expertise in the emergency response field.
They established emergency planning districts and oversaw the formation of Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCS). By an act of the Idaho legislature, the name of the State Emergency response Commission was changed to “Idaho Bureau of Hazardous Materials” (BHM), effective July 1, 1997. The BHM now resides under the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security. If you need to file a Tier II report you will need to send a copy to Canyon County Emergency Management, your local fire department, and the State of Idaho Homeland Security.
Canyon County expanded its LEPC to include all hazards in order to provide more comprehensive and useful emergency planning information to the residents. The Canyon County LEPC meets quarterly at different locations around the county. Please contact our office for information regarding our next planned meeting location. At these meetings we discuss All Hazard emergency planning, hazard mitigation, steering and reports from our sub-committees and stake-holders.
The LEPC is a focal point in the community for information and discussion about emergency planning, training and exercising. Membership in the Canyon County LEPC is a matter of choice, concern and commitment. The common element among members is the desire to promote public safety through personal involvement in the community.
– Elected Local and State Officials
– Law Enforcement
– Emergency Services
– Transportation agencies
– Utility Companies
– Local Environmental Agencies
– Fire Services
– Broadcast/Print Media
– Business and Industry
– Community Groups
– Government Agencies
– Concerned Citizens
– Citizen Corps partners
Lt. David J. Schorzman
Emergency Management Coordinator
1115 Albany St Caldwell, Idaho 83605
Office: 208-454-7271 // Cell: 208-989-2132
1115 Albany St Rm.137
Caldwell, ID 83605
Weekdays 8am – 5pm
ATTORNEYS: If you have a client in custody within our facility and would like your calls to or from your client to be without charge and protected from recording and or monitoring please contact classifications at 208-455-5977.