Moving toward more complete hazard analysis

Auglaize County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) members agreed that they need to have a more detailed hazard analysis for the county.

“We want to get a better picture,” Auglaize County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Troy Anderson said. “We want to bring information together from all the different entities — the health department, hospital, sheriff, industry.

“We want to get back to the basic roots of the LEPC and enhance what we are doing,” he said.

To get there, LEPC members are working on a new plan to create such an analysis. While many agencies offer input through their own reports now, Anderson said combining resources would result in a bigger, more thorough analysis.

He also said they want to get more people involved in determining what the county’s risks are.

The analysis would review commodity flow — what is being transported in, out and through the county via all roadways, rail lines and the airport. It also would address what is being stored by businesses and industries. Specifically, the hazard analysis would take a close look at large gathering areas (schools, churches, nursing homes, the jail) and their immediate area.

“We want to look at the worst case scenario — the worst chemical they have or the one they have the most of, the biggest range for evacuation if something went wrong,” Anderson said.

He said they would be asking themselves questions such as what type of situations they could be dealing with, what would the worst case scenario encompass, what is the best way to develop an evacuation plan, what equipment do they have, what else may be needed, and who could assist.

After a recent wind storm whipped through the county, Anderson said they also would need to address power grids and how those may be serviced.

Plans now are to complete a thorough review of the county’s hazard and risk analysis each year, revisiting it several times within that year.

“By getting a broader approach, we can get a better picture of the county,” Anderson said. “The better detailed map we have, the better we can tell if we have the right equipment and what our needs are. This will be a big project.”