Kodiak’s Local Emergency Planning Committee met this week to discuss past successful educational projects and future plans.
Jack Maker, assistant planner for the Kodiak Island Borough, said an emergency booth was set up at Crab Festival again, but it didn’t quite live up to the 2014 booth when the borough brought in a machine that simulated an earthquake.
“I think the biggest lesson learned was that we need to have something with some interactivity,” Maker said. “There are some other LEPC’s that have the ‘wheel of disaster,’ just a spinning wheel that the kids can spin, it lands on a disaster and they have to answer a question about that disaster and then they’ll get an outreach item or give them candy as a reward for answering it.”
The LEPC will be looking into getting or building a spinning wheel or other interactive device for next year’s booth.
Another event coming up is the safety fair planned for October to coincide with Fire Safety Month.
The Kodiak Island Borough’s Neil Horn gave an overview of what happened during the Pills to Polar Bears exercise with the Center for Disease Control and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services earlier this year. The exercise is intended to simulate how vaccinations would be distributed from a central storage point during an emergency.
“We were weathered in so we didn’t get all the training prophylactics that we were hoping to get in,” Horn said. “We continued to run the exercise anyway, and got a lot of internal objectives achieved.”
The bad weather was still a learning experience as it prompted discussions with the State of Alaska about what to do if weather was an issue during a real emergency.
“How would we go about getting the stuff down to us if we can’t get it in via aircraft?” said committee chair and City of Kodiak fire chief Jim Mullican. “Is it something that could take its time and come down on a boat? The ferry was a possibility, we even talked about parachute drops, that kind of stuff, to come up with ways to get the stuff down here quickly in time of need.”
Mullican said eighteen people participated in Incident Command System training, a system used in Kodiak to manage an emergency, earlier this year as well.
Certain levels of the training can be completed online, but the higher levels must be instructed in a class.
He encouraged anyone who is interested to take the free online classes.
The committee also discussed a committee to focus specifically on outreach events including the potential for a booth at Christmas bazaars to bring more attention to emergency preparedness.
Julie Herrmann is a staff reporter at the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Contact her at 486-3227 ext. 627.