In an emergency situation, the city staff will know how to respond.

At the March 21 Council meeting, City Manager Jane Howington said the city's Emergency Operations Plan has been updated.

It's a staff function, but it's one of those things that helps people sleep at night if they understand the city knows what to do in any situation, she said.

"We know where to go if an area has to be vacated because of a fire or gas leak," Howington said. "We have shelters we have identified. If there is a train derailment, this governs how we respond to it."

Although the city's Emergency Operations Plan is for city staff and emergency responders, residents can go to the city website at www.hudson.oh.us and view the "Is Hudson Prepared" which provides a general overview of things that are in the Emergency Operations Plan. It also can give helpful advice to prepare a family for an emergency such as a meeting location and emergency supply kit under "Emergency Preparedness."

Residents also can sign up for emergency alerts on the city website and learn about topics such as fires, floods, hazardous materials transport, terrorism and tornadoes.

The purpose of the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is to provide a framework to assist responders to prepare, respond and recover from emergencies or disasters, said Jody Roberts, communications manager.

"This document is meant to help ensure that the city of Hudson is prepared to handle any possible situation, and to reduce the losses in both terms of human life and property damage," Roberts said. "It is not designed to cover every possible scenario, but provides a framework for broad tasks and actions that are specific to individual hazards, emergencies and disasters."

The document outlines the general responsibilities of city departments and divisions in responding to an emergency, such as setting up an incident command center and who is in charge of which emergency function such as emergency response, evacuations, shelters, mitigation, etc., Roberts said. The Hudson EOP follows the Emergency Support Function structure as outlined in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Response Framework (NRF), and is compliant with the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which includes the Incident Command System (ICS).

Although the Emergency Operations Plan is kept current, the last complete overall was 10 years ago, Howington said. This past year the city did a complete overall.

"When last done there was no technology part to it," Howington said. "Now communications and technology plays a major role in it."

Not only are communications improved for first responders, residents can receive messages on cell phones, she said.

"With the last revision 10 years ago, for example, we did not have Code Red phone and text capabilities, email notifications or text message alerts from our website," Roberts said. "These are all new technologies that we can employ to reach people in an emergency. In addition there are many new technologies in Emergency Response, firefighting, police response, etc."

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP