Sunbury storm siren operational

By Lenny C. Lepola

May 7, 2014

Delaware County Emergency Management Agency Director Sean Miller was in chambers during last Wednesday (April 30) evening’s Sunbury Village Council meeting to report that the new Village outdoor warning siren is fully operational.

Siren testing dates will change to the first Saturday of each month at 12 noon and will be set off through Delaware County Emergency Communications. The siren is located at the BST&G Fire District station at 350 West Cherry Street in Sunbury.

Miller cautioned that an outdoor warning siren is primarily used to alert those citizens involved in outside activities of severe weather events, hazardous material spills or acts of terrorism. The systems are not intended to provide an audible alert for persons indoors.

The purpose is to encourage those that hear the sirens to take action by immediately seeking shelter in a sturdy structure, and turning on a NOAA All-Hazards Radio, or local television news or radio channel.

For indoor notifications and warnings, Miller recommended that all eastern Delaware County residents sign up for CodeRed, a free notification system that allows residents to choose which alerts they would like to receive.

He said Delaware County residents may sign-up for CodeRed on the Delaware County website at < > and click on the CodeRed link.

Miller was also in chambers for the reading of Resolution 2014-07, a resolution adopting the Delaware County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan and agreeing to plan implementation contingent upon resource availability, including necessary funding.

“This plan is not an operations plan, it’s a good reference document for disasters,” Miller said. “It looks at hazards and emergencies that could occur, and what could be done to eliminate these hazards.”

Miller said the plan, required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, does not lock the village into any specific preparations or response to disasters, but its approval does open the doors for grant funding — like a private home safe room grant that will soon be available.

“It covers anything that reduces or eliminates risks,” Miller said. “As time changes we will implement changes to the plan, but this is one of the plans we have to submit to FEMA to meet their criteria.”

Miller said a plan like the county Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan was a collaborative effort. The plan is reviewed annually, expires after five years, and is then refreshed.

Sunbury Village Solicitor David Brehm noted that Community Library has, in the past, created an emergency response plan.

“We should look at their plan, dust it off and put somewhere where those in power have access to it,” Brehm said.

Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield reminded Council members, and Miller, that American Electric Power’s Vassell Transmission Substation being built adjacent to the village is a possible terrorist target if there’s a conflict.

“That’s a critical infrastructure serving the northeast United States,” Hatfield said. “I’ve had several folks call me with concerns about the substation.”

In other business, Council members approved a request to use Village streets near General Rosecrans Elementary School for the Second Annual Glow4Hope 5k Run/Walk on Saturday, July 19, with the starting line in the Sunbury Kroger parking lot in front of the Big Walnut Grill.

Registration begins at 8 p.m. with the race starting at 9:30 p.m. During the evening race individuals wear glow in the dark running gear.

Village Administrator Dave Martin also noted that the annual Big Walnut Relay For Life will start on Saturday, June 7, at 2 p.m. and run until Sunday, June 8, with a closing ceremony at 8 a.m.

Martin also said the annual fishing derby will be held at the up-ground reservoirs this Saturday, May 10.

Sunbury’s website is located at < >.

Sunbury Village Council meets the first and third Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m., third floor Council Chambers, Sunbury Town Hall. Council committees meet one hour before regularly scheduled Council sessions. All Village Council and Council committee meetings are open to the public.