What is the Disaster Preparedness Committee?

We are volunteers consisting of Syracuse residents, divided into five districts with two members at large. We meet every month of the year, except for November, on the 4th Thursday. Our purpose is to help the citizens of Syracuse be prepared for potential disasters that may occur in the city. Each district coordinator has been setting up at least one seminar each year on a subject that would be of service to members of the community. Look in the Syracuse Connection each month to see what is coming up that could be beneficial. Most seminars will be in the summer, May – September. As mentioned above, we have set up five districts within the city, and each district is divided up into approximately ten areas, with supervisors over each area. The purpose is to make sure that all citizens are represented in each area. We set up the RDAP (Rapid Disaster Assessment Program) that is replacing the old block captain program. RDAP recognizes that most citizens, if available, want to help out in a disaster, and procedures are set in order to follow up on every home in the area.

In 2018, we held a Preparedness Fair in the Community Center that was very well attended. We had various members and organizations demonstrate different items, ideas, and procedures that may be very helpful in the event of an earthquake, high winds, flooding, health, or other potential disasters. We also had vendors representing products that would be excellent in our 72-hour kits and other preparedness collections.

In April of 2019, during the Great Utah Shakeout, we worked heavily on our Ham Radio procedures, opened the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) of the city, and had our five districts report on communications readiness. The mock earthquake happened at 10 a.m., with plans to have each district contact the EOC within an hour of the disaster. Results were mixed but very instructive to our planning.

This year, on April 18th, we will be having a drill centered on sheltering in place to see how prepared our citizens are in surviving 72 hours or longer at home. We are not asking you to stay home. We are setting up a system where a mass text message will go out to all residents requesting a response back. The question that will be sent out to everyone is, “Do you have the ability to survive for 72 hours or more at this moment?” Remember, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” Can you survive on your food supply? Do you have adequate personal hygiene to survive for 72 hours? Are you committed to prepare yourself to be physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared to handle a major disaster? These are questions that we hope you will ask yourself on April 18, 2020. Please respond with a text back to our area coordinators with a Yes or No.
On September 19, 2020, we will have another Preparedness Fair at the Community Center. Anyone interested in participating can contact me or any member of the committee. Our names are at the bottom of this letter. We will also have our district coordinators solicit from area supervisors to come up with ideas that will be of service to everyone. We will also solicit outside vendors, ham radio enthusiasts, and others who can be of assistance to our city.

Terry Palmer, Chair
Duane Cheney, Vice Chair
Dan Merkling, Secretary
Patrick Carroll
Wes Jenkins
Judy Meservey
Lane Smith
Erin Behm, EMC
Jordan Savage, Council member

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