Live Oak County Local Emergency Planning Committee seeks system to connect with residents in the event of a catastrophe
by Rita Arnst
Mar 09, 2011 | 3585 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Live Oak County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met at the EOC/Training Room of Live Oak County Criminal Justice Center in George West on Thursday, March 3, to discuss an emergency notification system.

Jon Kiggans of Valero gave a brief “Right to Know” committee report. He said that the committee wants to put together a pamphlet similar to the one the LEPC in Nueces County uses and have refrigerator magnets made with information on what citizens should do in the event of an emergency that requires evacuation or “shelter in place”.

One suggestion is to use RSAN which is the system used by the University of Texas at Dallas to alert students via text message of urgent situations. Regan Carriger with NuStar suggested the committee look at “Nixle” a system that allows public safety agencies and municipal governments to connect with residents by text messages, e-mail and web. Charlie Johnston with NuStar suggested banners be purchased and put at the area Little League fields. Live Oak County Judge and LEPC Chairman Jim Huff thanked the group for their suggestions and encouraged them to look into those systems further.

LEPC Secretary/Treasurer Gene Chapline said a grant had been obtained by the Council of Governments (COG) that provided the Live Oak LEPC with 50 FM receivers. The system is called “Alert FM”; it requires a commitment with a local FM radio station to help quickly disseminate emergency information in the area. The receivers will be strategically placed to reach the greatest number of citizens.

Frank Askew with Pioneer Resources asked if he could obtain a list of LEPCs in the region. Askew went on to suggest a relationship with law enforcement should be established in areas without emergency planning committees to “set up perimeters and evacuation routes in those areas.”

Three Rivers Fire Chief Bobby Stewart said there is no LEPC in McMullen County; however, they are actively seeking suggestions on preparing and mitigating potentially dangerous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) situations.

H2S is a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas that smells like rotten eggs. It is most commonly obtained during separation from sour gas, which is natural gas with high content of H2S.
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