Emergency Services And Disaster Agency

The Galva Emergency Services and Disaster Agency (ESDA) is an all-volunteer unit staffed by trained weather spotters under the capable leadership of Mr. Bob Johnson.

Under Mr. Johnson's leadership, ESDA performs the following functions before, during and after weather-related incidents:

Preparedness Activities

  • The refinement of communication plans
  • The coordination of emergency response teams
  • The exercise of city-wide warning systems
  • The verification of available emergency shelters
  • The classification and tracking of emergency resources and stockpiles

Prevention Activities

Prevention includes the anticipation of needs and the act of avoiding or delaying damage or suffering. Examples of prevention activities include:

  • Delivery of portable generators to the oxygen-dependent during power outages
  • Advance warning of potentially dangerous situations

Mitigation Activities

Mitigation involves efforts to prevent hazards from developing into disasters; or in the case of unavoidable misfortune, to reduce the effects of the catastrophe. Disaster mitigation includes:

  • Communication of potential risks to the public (e.g., water contamination hazards, local travel risks, structural or damaged building perils)
  • Acquiring and delivering assistance to those who have suffered personal losses due to physical or emotional injury and property damage

Response Activities

Response involves the mobilization of emergency services and resources. Response activities may include:

  • The establishment of an Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
  • The assignment and coordination of incident commanders, liaison and public information officers (PIOs), technical specialists and scribes; safety officers and EOC support services
  • The analysis of the event, operations and resource coordination, and financial administration

Recovery Activities

Recovery involves the restoration of the affected area and can include:

  • Re-employment
  • Repair
  • Remediation

Storm Ready

Some 90% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $14 billion in damage. StormReady, a program started in 1999 in Tulsa, OK, helps arm America's communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property–before and during the event. StormReady helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.

No community is storm proof, but StormReady can help communities save lives. Galva received StormReady certification on 16 June, 2005, and will maintain the designation so long as it remains certified.

If you would like more information on StormReady, review the information below:

StormReady focuses on improving communication and preparedness within specific geographical boundaries such as villages, cities, counties and other types of communities such as hospitals and universities.

StormReady prepares communities for all severe weather - from tornadoes to tsunamis.

StormReady provides communities with detailed and clear guidance designed to improve their warning systems and preparedness programs.

Tornado Damage

Every year Americans lose their lives because they did not hear the warning; or if they heard the warning they did not heed it.

The National Weather Service and US Department of Commerce keeps and maintains Natural Disaster Survey Reports.

 

Goshen Tornado

 

The Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak of 1994 killed twenty members of the Goshen United Methodist Church.

The Church did not receive the NWS tornado warning.

 

Palm Sunday Damage

 

The assessment?

Many emergency management officials have no real-time access to National Weather Service warnings.

Additionally, even with large lead times, lives are lost because correct safety precautions are not taken.

The conclusion: taking safety precautions, when those precautions are not taken with the proper care, can and do lead to loss of life.

How does a community become StormReady?

By first establishing a communications channel that the NWS calls a "24 Hour Warning Point" which requires the establishment of an Emergency Operations Center capable of coordinating and those warnings.

The Operations Center must be capable of receiving critical and time-sensitive warning information via multiple communication channels and conduits. Those channels and conduits may consist of, but are not limited to, the following:

  • NOAA Weather Radio
  • NOAA Weather Wire
  • Emergency Managers Weather Information Network
  • News Media
  • Pagers
  • Other

Additionally, the Operation Center must demonstrate that it can monitor evolving weather conditions using:

  • Weather instruments
  • Gauge monitors
  • Radar (NWS, local & Internet)

During severe weather events, the Operations Center is expected to disseminate warnings by utilizing:

  • Cable override
  • NOAA Weather Radio in public buildings
  • Sirens
  • Other systems unique to the area

To keep and maintain certification, a community must increase preparedness through spotter and dispatcher training and public safety presentations as well as demonstrate an ongoing enhancement of internal procedures through review of its hazardous weather action plan.

To acquire certification and recognition as a StormReady community, the following steps must be completed:

  1. The community must apply for recognition in writing
  2. The local board reviews the application, and if the application is accepted, the Board
  3. Performs a verification visit, which, if completed successfully moves the process to
  4. A press conference and formal recognition