SANATOGA PA – In determining how to handle future hazardous incidents – be they blizzards, hurricanes, or house-shaking earthquakes – Montgomery County recently asked Lower Pottsgrove for volumes of historical information, a township commissioner said Tuesday (Nov. 28, 2017). It willingly offered everything it could provide, because there is a likely payoff somewhere down the road.
Commissioner Ray Lopez, who also is township emergency management coordinator, reported the county wanted reams of data in compiling its next 5-year hazard mitigation plan. It sought records from Lower Pottsgrove and all other county municipalities, he said, in trying to determine efficient and effective responses to currently unforeseen natural or man-made disasters.
The existing plan is being updated as a draft due in January 2018, and ultimately will be submitted to federal and Pennsylvania emergency management agencies. Involved governments, including Lower Pottsgrove, will be asked in coming months to review and approve the document before it’s finalized, Lopez told his Board of Commissioners’ colleagues during their meeting.
The completed plan comes with two benefits, according to Lopez.
The first is better, faster action during emergencies; “they’re trying to help us in the long run,” he said of planners. Knowing what has worked, or hasn’t, in past incidents helps responders improve and reduces wait times. The second is financial; by supplying what planners need, state and federal agencies can better assist the township when it seeks reimbursement for emergency expenses, Lopez noted.
They sought stacks of statistics, he added. “The total number of township employees. Full-time and part-time police officers. Our history in responding to hazards over the past five years. Issues and problems we encountered. Historical information on township buildings. Even our rate of population growth relative to the services we provided,” Lopez recounted.
It took awhile to assemble it all, but the result should be worth the effort, he added.
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Nov. 28 meeting):
- Township Supplied Stacks Of Stats On Hazards
- Board Plans Forming Infrastructure Committee
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