From researching online databases of my city, I’ve found that we are focused on planning ahead for disasters such as hurricanes, or even different forms like terrorism for example. The city acknowledges this strategic planning needed, as well as building public awareness and the development of hazardous mitigation and emergency response plans. According to the mayor, these plans are at completion and ready for use when or if the time ever comes. It was also found that all of this preparedness has been keeping the city’s homeland security team completely busy for the past few years as the city stresses necessary training, new equipment and education and the growing development of the new Community Emergency Response Team. If you are to draw any evidence from these actions of my city, it is that the key stress is maximum preparedness and planning which isn’t a bad emphasis when you’re dealing with natural disasters. Agencies
One agency in the city of West Haven in regards to emergency preparedness is the Medical Reserve Corps or MRC. They are actually sponsored by the office of the U.S. Surgeon General. As a community based volunteering network, they are organized to support the existing public health structure during emergencies and even non-emergency events. The responsibilities include managing natural disasters, illnesses, man-made emergencies and community health events. Member positions range from medical practitioners, nurses, mental health professionals as well as miscellaneous volunteering roles.
Another agency with emergency preparedness in my city is the Community Emergency Response Team or CERT. On September 23, 2006 CERT was launched in West Haven with thirty two volunteers. The theory behind the development of CERT is actually quite obvious but some places might never put this into perspective sadly. In major emergencies it’s a fact that emergency services are overloaded instantaneously. With CERT created it gives ordinary civilians the training opportunity they need to be prepared in emergency circumstances. This opens up the opportunity for a more independent society with less of a need to seek professional emergency officials help in a time of crisis. Every area in our world faces the threat of earthquakes and tornadoes and the most common disasters we face are severe storms and floods. Essentially CERT is needed everywhere whether people believe it or not, it’s just whether or not the location acknowledges this. Geography
West Haven has a total of 11 square miles of which 0.2 square miles is water and the remainder of space is land. Containing 3.5 miles of publicly accessible beaches, West Haven is bound in the southwest by The Oyster River, northwest by the town of Orange, north by New Haven, northeast by The West River, to the east is New Haven Harbor and to the south there is Long Island Sound which is separated by a break wall. With so much water lining the city it is quite vulnerable to water hazards like flooding and property damage during the several storms or hurricanes we get over the years. I myself have seen lots of homes on the water cease to exist because of these hurricanes in the past few years. In addition to that, there has also been much sand erosion on our beaches within the past few years. Literally half of the distance from our road to the water that was covered with sand now lies there.