Each morning when West Tisbury emergency management director John Christensen wakes up, he turns on his iPad and checks the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s weather forecast. It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of winter or hurricane season.
It began as a drill, and the more people became involved, the more
believable it got. More than 100 public safety volunteers gathered
Saturday for a mass casualty drill at the little bridge in Oak Bluffs.
There were sirens, fake blood on the ground and children screaming in
A plan that has been in the works for three years to establish the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School as an emergency center during a terrorist attack or outbreak of infectious disease hit a snag this week when concerns surfaced among Oak Bluffs leaders about the suitability of the site.
The Cape Cod Foundation recently awarded the Cape Cod and Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross an $8,000 grant to support Cape and Islands disaster planning.
The funding will support the prepositioning of shelter equipment, supplies, food, water and communication systems to meet the emergency standards for an additional 3,600 potential evacuees in the event of a major disaster or emergency on the Cape and Islands.
The Martha’s Vineyard Airport in association with responders from the Island’s police, fire, emergency medical service and other service providers will be conducting an exercise of the airport’s emergency response plan between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, at the airport.
This exercise is a requirement of the Federal Aviation Administration and is conducted once every three years to assist in the emergency response preparedness.
A wide range of Island leaders — including selectmen, public health officials and police chiefs — gathered on Wednesday for a special meeting hoping to finally designate an emergency dispensing site for the Vineyard in the event of a terrorist attack or outbreak of infectious disease.
And although the meeting, held at the Vineyard Transit Authority building, was marked by a spirit of cooperation and good will, no consensus about a site was reached.
Behind FEMA, there is LEMA. And behind the Local Emergency Management Agency for Oak Bluffs, there is Peter Martell who, on a recent afternoon, is at the desk of his gloomy office at the Wesley Hotel, facing the door and fielding phone calls.
The room is lined with disaster management literature, Steamship Authority deck plans, stacks of Island directories and maps of flood zones.