The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is responsible for undertaking all activities and measures necessary to minimize and control the effects of disaster, both natural and technological, as well as the effects of military or terrorist attacks by enemies of the United States.
Natural disasters, toxic material releases and mass injuries are all possible threats for Manchester. When disasters strike, Town government responds through its Emergency Management organization. The OEM has taken measures to mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from emergencies. Efforts such as fire codes, building codes and mapped flood zones help mitigate or reduce the damage that may occur.
Preparing for an emergency requires organization, information, training, and exercises. During an emergency, Town forces are organized under the Incident Command System (ICS) in compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS is a system mandated by HSPD-5 that provides a consistent nationwide approach for Federal, State, local and tribal governments; the private sector; and non-governmental organizations to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. To provide for interoperability and compatibility among Federal, State, local and tribal capabilities, the NIMS includes a core set of concepts, principles and terminology. HSPD-5 identifies these as the ICS; multi-agency coordination systems; training; identification and management of resources (including systems for classifying types of resources); qualification and certification; and the collection, tracking and reporting of incident information and incident resources.
The ICS structure is a standard method of managing emergencies. ICS has been adopted by many State and Federal Agencies. In an emergency Town Departments will be grouped into Emergency Support Functions (ESF's). This will allow the Town Departments to work as coordinated groups to combat any emergency. The ESF concept follows the organization of the National Response Framework (NFR). The FRP outlines how the Federal Government would assist our local government when a major disaster or emergency overwhelms our ability to respond effectively and overwhelms our limited resources. The Town of Manchester is a member of the Capitol Region Emergency Planning Committee (CREPC). CREPC is a group of over thirty towns surrounding Hartford that have banded together in order to handle any emergency that might affect our region. In a regional emergency, CREPC will activate the Regional Emergency Support Plan (RESP). This plan outlines how the member towns of CREPC respond to support our neighboring communities in an emergency.
Disasters demand a number of special services that must be ready to roll out. We have numerous shelter facilities throughout the Town. If a shelter needs to be opened, we will publicize the location on the Town's AM radio station 1630 AM, on the Town's web page and on the Town's Facebook and Twitter pages on the internet.
Information is critical in an emergency. The OEM maintains the Town Emergency Operations Plan and all its annexes. The Town annually trains and exercises all the plans, preparations and procedures for all departments and agencies.
Responding to the disaster draws upon every resource available to the Town. The Town establishes an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The members of the EOC staff will coordinate the Town's efforts to combat the disaster. Radios and Telephone lines are set up in the Emergency Operations Center to gather information about the disaster and dispatch Town resources. Information for the Town residents will be channeled through a Public Information Officer in order to provide accurate information and quell rumors.
Recovery is perhaps the most difficult phase of disasters. Peoples’ lives have been altered. Damaged homes must be repaired or rebuilt. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army can help families. Many volunteers come forward in disasters. Volunteer’s staff shelters, help neighbors clear away debris, provide four-wheel drive vehicles to help critical workers such as medical personnel get through snow storms. The best of a community shines through during the worst of times.
The OEM is always striving to maintain current information. If you have any comments or suggestions please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org