COMMUNICATIONS & WARNING
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This annex is developed to provide information and guidance concerning available, or potentially available, communications and warning capabilities of Saline County and how they can be augmented
SITUATION AND ASSUMPTIONS
• Saline County could find itself subjected to many hazards (See Basic Plan, Situation and Assumptions) and would require activating emergency communications and warning operations.
• Saline County receives its initial warning information from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Troop A Headquarters in Lee's Summit where the NAWAS point is located. The NAWAS point in Saline County is located at the Marshall Police Department.
• The primary communications and warning capabilities for Saline County are contained in the Emergency 911 (E911) Center. Located at 2025 S. Odell Ave, Marshall, this is a 24-hour, 7 day a week, 365 day a year operation provides all emergency and non-emergency telephone operations and dispatching of police, fire, and ambulance for the entire county. This department is responsible for activation of all county wide outdoor warning sirens. The E911 Center also activates plectrons that notify various facilities of severe weather. In addition to all emergency dispatching the facility also dispatches Marshall, Slater, and Sweet Springs Animal Control, and each political entity as described below.
• The Sheriff's Office is staffed on a 24-hour basis by dispatch personnel through the E-911 Center. The Sheriff s Office also activates plectrons that notify various facilities of severe weather.
• The Marshall Police Department provides 24-hour dispatching for the police, fire, and ambulance services, as well as other city services using the E-911 Center. The Department is also responsible for activating the city outdoor warning sirens, operating the cable television warning system, as well as serve as the NAWAS point.
• The Slater Police Department provides 24-hour dispatching for police, fire, public works (after hours) and the Slater Ambulance District through the E-911 Center. The Department also activates the city outdoor warning sirens, activates pagers to alert officials/department heads and also sets off plectrons carried by the firemen. City Hall also has a radio base station available.
• The City of Sweet Springs provides dispatching for their public works services during business hours from City Hall. After hours calls are transferred to the E-911 Facility. The radio base station is located at City Hall and the Police and Fire Departments have remote stations. The outdoor warning siren is activated from City Hall or can be manually activated from the Fire Department.
• The communities of Arrow Rock, Marshall, Slater and Sweet Springs have outdoor warning sirens available (see Appendix 2 to this Annex for further information). Warning in these communities and the remaining areas of Saline County will be supplemented with mobile public address operations by the Sheriff's Office, municipal police and local fire departments. Radio and television stations will also broadcast warnings.
• It is assumed that the existing communications and warning system in Saline County will survive and remain functional regardless of which type of disaster strikes the area. (The exception here would be nuclear attack, which would require actions to insure survivability.)
• This annex, upon its completion, will aid timely emergency responses during disasters by insuring coordination of all communication and warning systems.
• If the situation is such that the local systems are overtaxed, the state will be able to augment local resources during the response and recovery phases.
• Regardless of how well developed a warning system is, some citizens will ignore, not hear, or not understand warnings of impending disasters broadcast over radio or television, or sounded by local siren systems. Mobile public address and even door-to-door operations may be required in some disaster situations.
• In most cases, the communications center (dispatching personnel) in conjunction with the public safety officer on the scene will make the initial determination that a "classified" emergency has occurred or is developing (See Appendix 3 to the Basic Plan).
• The communications and warning system as described in this annex is adequate to deal with most emergency situations occurring in Saline County, but in a severe emergency, augmentation may be required.
CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS
• Ultimate responsibility for developing and maintaining an emergency operations communications and warning capability lies with local government.
• The communications and warning operations for Saline County will be control1ed by the Saline County Sheriff's Office. Each municipality is responsible for controlling communications and warning operations in their jurisdiction. Personnel will operate in shifts to provide a 24-hour a day staffing of the communication facilities during emergencies.
• During classified emergencies, curtailment of routine action will be necessary. The degree of this curtailment will be determined by the chief communications officer and will depend upon the severity of the situation.
• During emergency operations, all departments will maintain their existing equipment and procedures for communicating with their field operations. They will keep the EOC informed of their operations at all times and will maintain communications liaison with the EOC.
• Communications between the state and local EOC will be primarily through land line telephone links.
• Telephone services, HAM radio operators, and other amateur communication networks in the area will be utilized to expand communication capabilities during disaster situations.
• Although most warning alerts come from outside sources (i.e., State, National Weather Service, etc.), Saline County will develop and maintain the capability to identify potential problems and insure a timely warning on its own.
• When emergency situations requiring public warning occur at industrial sites that have hazardous materials, or at water impoundments, the procedures for alerting government officials will follow the procedures contained in Appendix 3 to the Basic Plan (also see Annex J, Appendix 8 and Annex N).
• When an emergency situation occurs, all available systems will be utilized to alert and warn the private residences, schools, nursing homes, etc. Methods of warning include: telephone, radio, outdoor warning sirens, plectrons, news media, etc.
• Tests and educational programs will be conducted regularly to insure the public understands the various warnings.
Tasks to be Accomplished by Time Frame
• Revise and update this annex and its appendices at least yearly.
• Formulate long-range plans for improvements and follow through with them.
• Conduct training for all personnel (full-time, part-time and supplementary) in:
Message flow when the EOC is activated
Emergency classification (see Basic Plan)
Warning systems activation procedures
Other subjects as required to support other functions
• Participate in a regular schedule of tests and exercises.
• Inspect and maintain all equipment on a regular basis.
• Identify private sector resources (i.e. telephone companies) that can augment local capabilities to include repair and supply.
• Analyze equipment locations with regard to possible destruction from hazards.
• Coordinate communications and warning capabilities with neighboring jurisdictions.
• Insure that a repair capability exists under emergency conditions.
• Develop procedures to provide coverage should any equipment become disabled.
• Work with PIO to distribute information to the media and public for educational purposes.
• Develop procedures to warn and/or communicate information to special needs groups (hearing impaired persons, persons with visual impairments, non-English speaking groups, etc.).
• Initiate personnel call-up as necessary, depending upon the potential of the situation.
• Activate appropriate warning systems.
• Conduct equipment readiness checks to include emergency power.
• Activate alternate systems and procedures if necessary.
• Provide adequate communication support to the EOC staff.
• Check communication links with state and federal agencies.
• Activate warning system if not already done.
• Activate all necessary personnel to meet communications needs.
• Provide communication for agencies in the field.
• Determine the emergency classification if necessary.
• Maintain and provide information to decision-makers.
• Report on communications and warning systems status to the EOC staff.
• Make necessary repairs or switch to alternate systems as breakdowns occur.
• Continue response level operations until orders to discontinue operations are received.
• Provide communication support to damage assessment.
• Make repairs and inventory equipment and supplies. Report status to the EOC staff.
ORGANIZATION AND ASSIGNMENT OF RESPONSIBILITIES
The organizational chart for the communications and warning function in Saline County is provided in Appendix 1 to this Annex.
Assignment of Responsibilities
• Overall coordination and control of communications and warning in Saline County is the responsibility of the Saline County Sheriff. The Sheriff's Office will coordinate all communication activities for Saline County.
• Each municipality is responsible for controlling communications and warning operations in their jurisdiction through their Police Department and/or City dispatcher.
• Those areas of the county that do not have sufficient communications and warning capabilities will be provided for by the Saline County Sheriff's Office.
• The Saline County Sheriff's Office and each municipal police department are responsible
for keeping their EOC informed of their operations at all times with regard to
communications and warning
DIRECTION AND CONTROL
• For incidents that have reached an emergency classification (See Appendix 3 to affected area or subdivision.
• Specific department heads may be designated to maintain operational control of their own communications system, but will coordinate with the EOC during emergency operations. All departments must become familiar with the procedures outlined in this annex.
• When a classified emergency occurs, normal procedures can be altered as necessary to insure adequate direction and control.
• Outside communications and warning resources used to support emergency operations will remain under the direct control of the sponsoring organization, but will be assigned by the EOC to respond as necessary.
CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT
• Lines of succession to each department head and other key personnel positions shall be according to the procedures and normal lines of succession established in the respective departments SOG. The line of succession for the Saline County Sheriff's Office will be from the Sheriff through the Chief Deputy.
• In the event the primary communications and warning facilities become inoperable, SOGs should be developed to provide for backup equipment or an alternate facility.
• All records vital to the continued functioning of the communications and warning section should be duplicated and maintained at another location. If this is not possible, plans should be developed to move documents to an alternate site.
ADMINISTRATION & LOGISTICS
• Maintain mutual aid agreements and agreements of understanding regarding communications and warning operations.
• Notification/recall lists for all departments to include each individual in the chain of command will be updated regularly and provided to the Saline County Sheriff's dispatcher (and/or appropriate city dispatcher). This list should include telephone numbers and radio frequencies of neighboring jurisdictions and state agencies. A communication system to implement call-down rosters for personnel assigned to the EOC, etc., must also be maintained.
• It is the responsibility of each agency to insure that their personnel are adequately trained and familiar with communications and warning procedures as outlined in this Plan and the agency's own SOG.
• Record keeping and accounting procedures will be according to appropriate county/city regulations, ordinances, etc.
SOG for the security and protection of communication equipment will be developed for telephone line overload, including line load control and priority of service restoration.
ANNEX DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE
The County Emergency Management Director along with the Communications and Warning Coordinator will be responsible for the maintenance and improvement of this annex. It will be reviewed, updated, and modified as necessary, but not less than annually.
Appendix 1- Communications and Warning Diagram
Appendix 2 - Communications and Warning Capabilities
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