November 12Posted on: November 12, 2012
It’s been a week since the first quake. Now that reality has hit, I think I better check in with the township supervisor. After-all, I AM the township Emergency Manager. I’m wondering if that’s such a good position to have right now. During a disaster it’s a lot of responsibility, and a lot of pressure. I just hope I’m up to it, the times I’ve had to put that hat on are few and far between.
The first thing I needed to do though was call Theresa at the county seat. She’s the Regional Emergency Manager, and the one I ultimately report to. I’m hoping she will give me some clue as to what I need to be doing.
It was a short conversation. She is overwhelmed herself and had little time to spare for me.
“I’ve known you for eight years, Deborah, and you’re one of the few local EM’s that take their position seriously. Follow protocol, but do what you think best for your town, you know it better than I do. I’ve got my hands full here.” I could hear her shuffling papers.
“Can we get any food supplies and what about law enforcement?” I asked.
“I know you have several retired officers up there. Do you think they will be willing to pitch in? I can send the sheriff up in a few days to deputize them and anyone else you think would be good to have.” She deftly skirted the first half of my question.
“That would be helpful. I’m sure Paul and Donna would come back on, as well as Bob Hapson,” I knew she would be familiar these three state troopers. “And I have a list of all the CPL holders.”
“How did you get that list? CPL holders are not a matter of public record.”
“Don’t ask. But since I have mine, we kind of know each other. Besides, you know what a small town this is,” I reminded her. “Let me know when the sheriff can be here, and I’ll have everyone ready.”
“Good luck, Deb. You may well be on your own, you know.” God, I hate being called Deb.
“Wait! What about food?” but she’s already hung up.
I’m safely assuming Darlene is now the supervisor, since she was running unopposed. I had THE Disaster talk with Daryl when he got elected and Vince before him, now it’s time for Darlene. She isn’t the type to want to hear what I had to say, though, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. Hopefully, with all that’s gone on in the past week, she’ll be more receptive.
At the top of the list of things was to check with Joe at Fram’s Store. I stopped there before going to the township offices and left word I needed to see him in Darlene’s office.
Joe arrived shortly after I did and we discussed what was in the small grocery store. I reassured him we had no intention of confiscating his inventory, which seems to be holding, mainly because he does maintain a back room stock, not a JIT system. He also had just gotten the gas tanks filled before all this happened. He didn’t like it that I said he needed to ration the gas, but he saw the wisdom in it…. And that’s good; I didn’t want to push the issue. There really is no place to go, so we decided to limited gas to ten gallons per person per week, and that will mostly be used for generators if the power goes. I also suggested he limit store hours, so there wouldn’t be panic buying like in the city, and that he might want to consider a night-watchman. That was a shock to him; this is a fairly crime free community, there hasn’t ever been the need for guards. Along with the store is the only Laundromat in town and a café that serves breakfast and lunch. One of the biggest draws is that it’s a Hot Spot for internet. One of the downsides of being so rural is the dependency on only a few relay towers; and those towers need power; when the power goes, so does the connection. Joe has a huge backup generator for the store complex, and since he provides the electricity for the tower on top of his building, the internet should still work. I say ‘should’ but it’s never been tested.
As Joe was leaving after our talk, I followed him out. I like Joe, we’ve been friends a long time, and so I suggested he take some of the food stock home with him, a couple cases of veggies at least. He just looked at me, glumly nodded and left.
I told Darlene what Theresa had to say; she looked shocked.
“On our own? No help from anyone? What are we going to do?” She was SO not ready for this.
“The first thing we’re going to do, Darlene, is stay calm. The town will look to you for guidance. You ARE the elected official here. Even though in a disaster situation, I’m to take point, I think you should be there too. Together we can do this. Okay?” She had that deer in the headlight look, but nodded. What is it with the nodding lately? Everyone seems to have lost their voice. “For now, I think we should start with some lists: who we think will be leaders, and yes, who we think could cause trouble; all of the seniors who might need help or checking on, and anyone, like Leon, who are severely handicapped. Oh, and who has wood heat.” The sun was going down by the time I left her office and I was getting hungry.
Power went out for a couple of hours, but its back on now. I know we get our power feed from Wisconsin, and they’re closer to ground zero than we are. I’m wondering how long the power stations will continue. It would only make sense for all the Nuclear Reactor Plants to go into a systematic shut down, to prevent a Fukushima.
Hundreds more minor aftershocks continue to hamper any rescue efforts. It’s a mess down there.
3 thoughts on “November 12”
LOL… you keyed into that… and why being appointed has it’s advantages and disadvantages.
An entire community in shock, and looking for leadership. With elected leaders heading the pack.
Following the Virginia earthquake of August, 2012, in which a fairly new Virginia highschool was destroyed, and many homes were broken in half, there were continuous aftershocks. There were also road collapses while people drove on them. The aftershocks themselves cause cumulative damage to buildings and to roads, even if the shocks themselves are no more powerful that a 1.8 or 2.1 .