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Norwood approves emergency operations plan

During a special called meeting Monday evening, the Norwood Town Council approved an emergency operation plan for the town.

The plan lays out the steps and procedures the town would take should an emergency or weather-related disaster occur. It also describes the incident command system regarding specific leadership during emergencies.

According to the document, “The goal of the plan is to provide a means to utilize all available resources to mitigate or prevent potential emergencies or disasters whenever possible, prepare to deal efficiently with the effects of emergency events, respond to matters of life safety and property protection, and promote a means to recover rapidly from unavoidable damages.”

Emergency and disaster situations referred to in the document include “extraordinary fire, flood, storm, epidemic, accident, chemical spill, technological hazards created as a byproduct of our modern society, or other impending or actual calamity endangering or threatening to endanger health, life or property of constituted government.” The document states that the most probable natural emergencies would be tropical storms or hurricanes.

“We have a well-crafted emergency operations plan if disaster strikes,” said City Administrator Scott Howard. “We have made the steps to be prepared and to immediately start remedying the situations.”

Though there are no public shelters in Norwood, the commissioners mentioned that during a disaster the likely places people would go would be to one of the area schools, preferably South Stanly High School. Mayor Harold Thompson said while there is no emergency public shelter plan from the county, “it is something that is being looked at.”

The operation of the emergency plan will be coordinated amongst all town departments and a Town of Norwood Emergency Operations Center (EOC), located in town hall, will be created that will “collect, record and evaluate information in order to determine measures to be taken before, during and after disasters/emergencies.”

Operations of the plan would begin when either Howard, Thompson, Police Chief James Wilson or another designated representative determines that a situation warrants plan implementation to reduce the threat to life or property.

Under the plan, Howard will be the director of emergency management for the town and is responsible for the planning, coordination, organization, administration and operations of such activities. Other members of the emergency management team include Police Chief James Wilson, Fire Chief Vaughn Rummage and law enforcement officers.

The plan also outlines specific responsibilities for law enforcement and fire and rescue, includes information on how to assess property damage after a storm hits, identifies the different communication methods to be utilized during a disaster and describes a sample time frame for operations during a potential hurricane.

The council adopted the plan in a 5-0 vote.

The council also:

• Will withdraw membership from the Centralina Council of Government effective June 30 in an effort to save money.

• Agreed to let the Norwood ABC Store retain 3.5 percent mandatory distributions to use in their working capital until June 30, 2021, or until sales reach a continuous $70,000 per month prior to the date. The store also will start providing a monthly sales report to the town beginning in July.

• Approved a Cabarrus Stanly Union Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

 

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