Annual County-wide Emergency Evacuation Exercise

In a real widespread emergency, such as a Shine Plant nuclear melt down event or a direct-hit tornado, or an I-90 500 vehicle 3-5 day snow emergency pile-up, the city manager is correct; we are not prepared.
But a $30,000 Emergency Response Coordinator position is certainly not going to fix it.
We need an annual county-wide evacuation exercise.
This annual evacuation exercise would help our citizen community of residents along with the assistance of our regular daily government employee staff to gear up for an appropriate emergency response.
Analyzing those annual exercises will allow us to develop strategies to improve our staff’s jurisdictional authority issues, to create better traffic control and exit route strategies, and to create better communication and information phone-tree style techniques to every citizen.
Financially, we can not have sufficient government employee staff, vehicles, equipment, or supplies on hand 365 days per week on all three shifts to adequately respond to a catastrophic emergency.
Thus, an annual county-wide emergency response exercise would most importantly help to identify, train, certify, and smoothly orchestrate the numerous citizen groups for efficient and affective coordinated emergency response efforts.
These citizen groups include horseback teams, snowmobile teams, sky and snowshoe teams, survivalist teams, biker teams, non-profits, civic groups, veteran groups, etc.

Let’s start with Mercy Hospital: licensed for 240 beds. But Mercy does not have 240 ambulances in the basement garage with two driver-stretcher carriers per vehicle on the clock three shifts per day to be able to evacuate 240 patients out of the county within ten minutes of a disaster alert.
And where would these drivers be taking these 240 patients? To UW Whitewater’s gymnasium? To Dane County’s coliseum?
Does the coliseum have water, blankets, and a storehouse of military rations? Or even know that 240 vehicles would be headed their way?
Are there 240 citizens who own a van?
During Katrina, nurses stayed when patients couldn’t be evacuated. That was not an adequate plan.
Do Mercy staff come to work in a van? Could they get an employee stipend to encourage van ownership personal transportation?
What text-alert could line up 240 private citizen vans with drivers who have gotten CPR certification and have a medical kit in their vehicle? To which hospital door/s would their vans line up at? What exit route would they be caravaning? What vehicle identification flag would be magnetized to the hood of their van?
Let’s discuss my low-income neighborhood; which has the highest density of children, disabled, retired, and elderly, but has the lowest number of vehicles and licensed drivers per capita.
Do we have a neighborhood meeting hall with our own buses? Would the Boys n Girls Club bring buses? Are certain school or coach buses designated for use by our neighborhood? Do we have 20 neighborhood residents who could drive a bus?
Or who of our neighbors are semi truck drivers, 20 of whom would be at home at any given time to drive a semi-trailer filled with people?
Do we meet at the little park? At the stadium? To where would the buses/semis be taking us?
How many passengers would our own neighbors currently be able to transport? Who are they? Where would they line up their vehicles so that “the life-boats are full”?
Who coordinates that? My neighborhood has 1100 households in 100 blocks. Who are our 100 block stewards, our 10 block captains? Our ward supervisor? Our two city council representatives?
We must stop pretending that we could ever afford enough city employees for the government to fix us.

1. We need an annual evacuation and emergency responce exercise.
2. We need to reinstate our citizen groups as recognized orchestrated assistance available to each one of our citizens.
3. We need to repair our representational and communicational structure to adequately represent and provide for our city wide needs; 2800 block stewards, 280 block captains, 28 ward supervisors, two council alder persons per each of our four neighborhoods. Destinations and exit routes for each of our four neighborhoods
When is our first emergency evacuation exercise? Would the last day of school each year be most convenient? How many exercises before we are ready for a real and unannounced drill?

Right now, our city of Janesville is like the Titanic; not enough identified life boats, no plan, and the majority of us are locked in the hull to go down with the ship.

In a real widespread emergency, such as a Shine Plant nuclear melt down event or a direct-hit tornado, or an I-90 500 vehicle 3-5 day snow emergency pile-up, the city manager is correct; we are not prepared.
But a $30,000 Emergency Response Coordinator position is certainly not going to fix it.
We need an annual county-wide evacuation exercise.