Partner Newsletter - PDF by undul845


September 2009
Inside this Issue
• September is National Preparedness Month • Your roles in Emergency Management • ICS – Role of the Month • ICS Chart Simplified • Health Dept- H1N1 Update • Hurricane safety tips • List of Partners • Save the Dates

Issue #2

A publication of the Norwalk Fire Department- Office of Emergency Management

The mission of the Office of Emergency Management is to coordinate the activities of all partner agencies preparing for, responding to and recovering from natural and human caused disasters. This concept will not be successful without the active participation of a broad cross section of municipal departments, non profit agencies and the private sector. We strive to provide you the tools to lean forward and anticipate community needs and the ability to effectively collaborate with other partners to meet those needs. Your engagement in this process is truly appreciated.

September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), a nationwide effort sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Campaign. Once again, the City of Norwalk is taking part in this nationwide effort to encourage individuals, families and communities to prepare for emergencies. This year, NPM focuses on changing perceptions about emergency preparedness and will help Americans understand what it truly means to be Ready. Preparedness goes beyond fire alarms, smoke detectors, dead-bolt locks and extra food in the pantry. Being Ready includes: getting an Emergency Supply Kit; making a Family Emergency Plan; being informed about emergencies and their appropriate responses; and getting involved in community efforts such as our new Disaster Reserve Volunteer program. As a Community, we’re taking steps to become educated, trained and better prepared, and we urge you to take time this month to do the same at home and encourage your friends, families, employees or clients to become better prepared as well. There are simple steps you can take to better prepare yourself and your family. Please visit our newly re-designed Emergency Management page at to learn more about how you can be better prepared.

Office of Emergency Management Contact Information Director, Emergency Management: Fire Chief Denis McCarthy Deputy Director, OEM: Michele DeLuca Phone: 203-854-0238 Fax: 203-854-0234 E-mail:

How do you fit in to the Emergency Management Puzzle?
With hurricane season upon us it is important that each of the many and varied emergency partners fully integrate in to the City’s emergency management system. We all are pieces of the community preparedness puzzle. As such we all need to insure that we complete the critical steps in preparedness. • • • • Be personally prepared – make sure that you are ready to respond and that your family is prepared to cope while you are at work potentially for several days Prepare your organization. Discuss your agency’s role in the City’s disaster plan. Every member from top to bottom should understand what that role is and how they should respond Prepare your replacement/alternate. You cannot work around the clock. Make sure that you have a back up and that he/she is prepared to fill in to your role seamlessly. In an emergency you will not be capable of ‘doing it all’. Divide the key elements of your agency’s response among your staff.

Incident Command System: Role of the Month
The Incident Command System (ICS) is the method by which we divide management functions during an emergency. If the command functions are not delegated they remain the responsibility of the Incident Commander or Department/Agency Head. We recommend that each department/partner agency set up and internal ICS system for their organization to manage its needs and to better integrate with the Emergency Operations Center ICS system. Beginning next month we will detail the roles and responsibilities of each ICS position identified in the simplified ICS chart below. This will give you the opportunity to fully integrate the functions into your operation one ICS position at a time. Additional ICS functions will be detailed every two months in this newsletter. If you would like more information about the Incident Command System, please contact Michele at 854-0238 or If there is enough interest, we can schedule an ICS training for the EM Team and our community partners.

Coming next edition: Incident Commander

Incident Command System
Incident Commander
You are in charge

You connect with outside people and resources

Safety Officer
Your focus is safety

Public Information Officer
You handle the media

Operations You do the field work

Planning You are the thinker and the planner. You answer the ‘What ifs’

Logistics You get and distribute supplies and people

Finance/Admin You track and record everything

Norwalk Health Department: H1N1 Influenza Update
The H1N1 influenza, also known as the swine flu, is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. It is easily spread from person to person via coughs, sneezing and in general close contact, much like seasonal influenza. Most of the cases in the U.S. have been mild, and this is important to keep this in mind. Symptoms are like regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, lethargy, headache, chills, and fatigue. Although impossible to completely stop the pandemic, there are ways to avoid getting or spreading the virus: • Wash your hands often with soap and water, particularly after your cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not handy, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. • Cover your mouth and nose with tissue or use the crook of your arm/elbow when you cough or sneeze. • Try not to touch your nose, mouth, or eyes. Germs spread this way. • Stay away form those who are ill. • If you are sick, limit contact with others. If you should become ill, do not go to work or school until at least 24 hours after symptoms end. Wash hands frequently, always cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Call your health provider if you should feel ill enough as you would normally do. You should not go to the hospital for mild illness, but anyone with severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, should seek treatment immediately. A vaccine is due out this fall which will likely require a two-shot regimen. It will be out in limited amounts thus requiring prioritizing of population groups: pregnant women, household contacts of infants less than 6 months of age, then healthcare workers and EMS personnel with direct care status, children 6 mo.-4 yrs., and then children with high risk medical conditions less than 19 yrs. For additional information, please go to any of the following sites: City of Norwalk, Norwalk Health Department, CDC, and State of Connecticut DPH.

Hurricane Safety Tips
Hurricanes are most threatening to residents along our nation’s coastlines. But such fierce storms also have been known to build up enough momentum to carry their destructive winds inland for hundreds of miles. Heavy rains, flooding, and power outages add to the damage hurricanes can inflict on your home and community. Prepare for a hurricane by completing each item on the checklist below. KNOW WHAT A HURRICANE WATCH AND WARNING MEANS ✔WATCH: Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the WATCH, usually within 36 hours. ✔WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the WARNING, usually within 24 hours. PREPARE A PERSONAL EVACUATION PLAN ✔Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places—a friend’s home in another town, a motel, or a shelter. ✔Keep handy the telephone numbers of these places as well as a road map of your locality. You may need to take alternative or unfamiliar routes if major roads are closed or clogged. ✔Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. ASSEMBLE A DISASTER KIT CONTAINING: ✔First aid kit and essential medications. ✔Canned food and can opener. ✔At least three gallons of water per person in your household. ✔Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags. ✔Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries. ✔Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members. ✔Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.) KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN A HURRICANE WATCH IS ISSUED ✔Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for up-to-date storm information. ✔Prepare to bring inside any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants, and anything else that can be picked up by the wind. ✔Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If shutters have not been installed, use precut plywood as described above. Note: Tape does not prevent windows from breaking, so taping windows is not recommended. ✔Fill your car’s gas tank. ✔Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water, and medications. KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN A HURRICANE WARNING IS ISSUED ✔Listen to the advice of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so. ✔If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows. ✔Be aware that the calm “eye” is deceptive; the storm is not over. The worst part of the storm will happen once the eye passes over and the winds blow from the opposite direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings, and other objects damaged by the first winds can be broken or destroyed by the second winds. ✔Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and climb to higher ground. Know what to do after a hurricane is over ✔Keep listening to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for instructions. ✔If you are evacuated, return home when local officials tell you it is safe to do so. ✔Inspect your home for damage. ✔Use flashlights at all times; avoid using candles.

HOW YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED: ✔ The City of Norwalk has a system in place to quickly notify residents and businesses of an emergency. Visit and click on Emergency Management to update your information or add additional phone numbers and email addresses. This is especially important for residents with unpublished numbers or anyone using a cell phone as a primary phone number.

Who are our Partners?
Private Sector • Christian Community Action • Costco • CT Light and Power • CT Regional Chapter- American Red Cross • Courtyard by Marriott • Fairfield County Business Council • Family and Children’s Agency • Family Center- Center for Hope • Four Points- Sheridon • Home Depot • Human Services Council • King Industries • Norwalk Community College • Norwalk Hospital • Norwalk Hospital- Emergency Medical Services • Norwalk Motor Inn • Norwalk Transit District • Norwalk Chamber of Commerce • Amateur Radio Emergency Services • Open Doors- Norwalk Emergency Shelter • Southwestern Regional Mental Health Board • Southwestern Regional Planning Agency • St. Vincent’s/Hall-Brooke Hospital • Stew Leonard’s • Stop and Shop: Connecticut Ave and Route 7 • United Way of Coastal Fairfield County • Walmart: Connecticut Ave and Route 7

Public Sector
The following City Departments have been instrumental in moving our planning and preparedness efforts forward. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Mayor’s Office Building Department Code Enforcement City Clerk Department of Public Works Fair Rent / Human Relations Finance Department Fire Department Information Technology Norwalk Health Dept Norwalk Public Schools Personnel & Labor Relations Police Department Police Department: Animal Control Purchasing Department Recreation and Parks Town Clerk Rowayton Fire Dept Norwalk Housing Authority Norwalk Harbormaster

Also: a special thanks to our newly trained volunteers in our Disaster Reserve Program.
We look forward to adding new partners to this list.

Fire Department Open House: Stop by for a while to learn about fire safety and emergency Preparedness, explore the fire trucks and try some hands-on-activities. Saturday, October 3rd from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm 121 Connecticut Ave. Disaster Reserve Volunteer Training: New volunteers need to complete the Foundations of Response class before taking a track class. Foundations of Response. (length: 3 hours) Tuesday, September 8- 6:30-9:30 pm. or Wednesday, September 16 -6:30- 9:30 pm Or Tuesday, October, 13- 6:30- 9:30pm Track training: (length 2 ½ hours)- choose at least one but can complete more than one. or Monday, October 19 . 6:30-9:00 pm People: Tuesday, September 22 .6:30-9:00 pm Places: Wednesday, September 30 . 6:30- 9:00 pm or Wednesday, October 28 . 6:30-9:00 pm Things: Monday, October 5. 6:30-9:00 pm or Tuesday, November 3. 6:30-9:00 pm For community partners interested in getting trained as a group, please call and we can set up training at your site. To register for a class, set up training for your group, or learn more about this program, please call 854-0238. A volunteer brochure and application can be found on the Emergency Management page of the City’s website.

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