day, millions of people wake up, go to work, take their kids to school,
farm their land,
and go to public events. But every so often the unexpected
happens; an earthquake, a fire, a chemical spill, or some other
disaster, natural or man-made. Routines change drastically, and
people are suddenly aware of how fragile their lives can be.
Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives each year. And
each disaster has lasting effects - people are seriously injured,
sometimes killed, and property damage runs into the billions of dollars.
Our Mission: The Monongalia County Commission established the
Monongalia County Office of Emergency Management in July of 1988, in
accordance with West Virginia code Chapter 15 Article 5.
The Monongalia County OEM is tasked with coordinating responses to
disasters and other major emergencies across the county. The
agency's dedicated staff monitors the county for natural hazards and
other emergency situations. During an emergency situation, the
agency coordinates the response of all local, county, state, and federal
agencies, and provides key information to the public.
During day-to-day operations, the agency monitors the county for
potential threats and ensures that the county emergency operations plan
is logistically possible should an emergency arise. During
emergencies, the agency activates the county's state-of-the-art
Emergency Operations Center. This center is the heart of relief
and recovery efforts for the county during and following a disaster.
Although disasters can't be prevented, we can prepare to face them.
Emergency Management works with local organizations to develop effective
plans to handle natural and manmade emergencies. These plans are
written to cover events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and flash
floods, nuclear power plant accidents, dam failures, and hazardous
materials incidents, to name just a few.
Emergency management accomplishes it's mission by coordinating the
county's preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts.
Exercises dealing with events such as natural and technological
disasters and terrorism, are designed and conducted annually.
These exercises involve local jurisdictions, state and federal agencies,
volunteer groups, utility companies, and other key private-sector
groups. Intensive after-action reviews follow the exercises so
that lessons learned can be incorporated into emergency plans.
If a disaster occurs in our community, local government and
disaster-relief organizations are there to help, but individual citizens
need to be prepared as well. Local emergency responders may not be
able to reach you immediately after a disaster, or they may need to
focus their efforts elsewhere. Individuals and families who
prepare can reduce the fear, anxiety, and losses that surround a
disaster. People can also reduce the impact of disasters and
sometimes avoid them altogether. The important for residents to
keep in mind is staying prepared to take action, if necessary, until
emergency services personnel can reach them. You should know how
to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in our
area - hurricanes, earthquakes, lightning, extreme cold/winter weather,
or flooding. You should also have enough supplies to be
self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing
your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation.