2016 Emergency Management Plan
Emergency Management recently finished the 5 year revision cycle of our Emergency Management Plan. In Montana, and most places, emergency management is responsible for developing a plan that identifies roles and responsibilities along with the overall system that governs your community during a disaster. While this may seem like a simple task, it actually entails a lot of work and takes a long time. During a disaster government isn’t able to conduct business like they do on a typical day. Our emergency personnel will likely be over taxed, some tools or resources may not be available anymore, and some agencies may need to perform functions that aren’t their typical jobs. All of these are examples of what we call planning assumptions.
We take these assumptions and use them to develop plans on how we would operate in these situations. We try hard to stay at a high level focusing on roles and responsibilities and not get sucked into hypothetical tactical situations. As you might guess, this can take a lot of time to get all the associated government agencies on the same page in this process. To help with the work load, Gallatin County reviews 1/5th of the plan each year and adopts a new plan at the end of the 5 year cycle which we completed in December 2016 for all municipalities and unincorporated Gallatin County.
To help emergency officials remain proficient in disaster activities we regularly test our plan with a variety of exercises. In March 2017 we will be conducting our next county wide disaster exercise focusing on escalating incidents. This exercise will likely involve around 100 emergency officials for an evening of working through a fictional incident. The fictional incident will have been developed by a planning team consisting of personnel from many agencies who will have spent 4 month developing the scenario.
You can learn more about Gallatin County’s preparedness planning on our Planning Page.