Marshfield’s Emergency Planning Committee
By Craig DeGrand
Marshfield Deputy Fire Chief
Emergency Planning Committee Chairperson
The city of Marshfield has a group of people that quietly work in the background to help the city prepare for an emergency. This group is called the Emergency Planning Committee, and it is made up of a variety of individuals, including department heads, city administration, the finance director, public works, clinic and hospital officials, school officials, Red Cross, and the amateur radio society to name a few. The Emergency Planning Committee also works closely with Wood County Emergency Management.
The sole purpose of this group is to make the city better prepared for an emergency such as tornados, flooding, long-term power outages, winter storms, ice storms, rail incidents, and all other types of emergencies that can affect our area.
Once a year we plan a large disaster drill to put our group to the test. Although it is difficult to actually create a realistic tornado scene, we do our best to simulate one.
We make every effort to involve as many departments as possible because it forces groups to work together. Each department in the field has to communicate with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), explaining what it is doing as it affects the overall plan developed to get the city back to normal as soon as possible. The EOC is staffed with the decision makers for the city who have the ability to approve the requests for specialized equipment, additional resources, etc. The exercises usually reinforce what has been learned from other communities’ disasters.
Occasionally, we will bring in a consultant to run the drills and provide us with an overview of how well prepared we are as a city. They have commented on how well prepared Marshfield is.
The Emergency Planning Committee has formed partnerships with area businesses to supply additional equipment and resources once all of the city resources have been committed. These businesses assist with providing additional heavy equipment, shelter, food, transportation, stabilizing materials, and much more.
The Emergency Planning Committee recommends that you have a three-day supply of water and food in case of an emergency for your family. Information regarding how to be prepared at home or business can be found at redcross.org or FEMA.gov.