Emergency Management Plan Revision of May 1, 2011



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Tornado Watch: Issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes. Indicates a tornadoe could form.
Tornado Warning: Issued by the National Weather Service when a tornado has actually been sighted or is indicated by weather radar. Indicates a tornado has formed.
Waterspout: A funnel-shaped, rotating column of air, extending from a cloud base to a body of water such as the ocean or a large lake. In this region they are typically fairly weak, but they can reach F0 or F1 tornado wind speeds. (These are technically not classified as tornadoes unless they move onto land.)


      1. CONCEPT of OPERATIONS

Tornadoes can form very quickly, and with the average forward speed of a tornado being about 30-35 mph, there is often little if any time for advance warning or planning.


Safety Manager receives most weather watches and warning through other sources as well.
TORNADO WATCH


  • The GSWSA Dispatch Center, when requested by Safety Manager, shall broadcast the Tornado Watch as follows:

  • Announcement over the 800 MHz radio on GSWSA Channel 1

  • Announcement over the 800 MHz radio on GSWSA Channel 2

  • Announcement over the Administrative and Operation Center intercom system

  • E-mail sent to the newsgroups

All employees should remain alert for severe weather, and be ready to take the appropriate actions if necessary.


TORNADO WARNING (for the Grand Strand Water & Sewer Authority service area, but NOT near Administrative and Operation Centers)
The GSWSA Dispatch Center, when requested by Safety Manager, shall broadcast the Tornado Warning as follows:

  • Announcement over the 800 MHz radio on GSWSA Channel 1

  • Announcement over the 800 MHz radio on GSWSA Channel 2

  • Announcement over the Administrative and Operations Centers intercom system

If the Warning area is near any other GSWSA facility, Dispatch shall attempt to notify any personnel who may be at that facility via phone or radio.


All employees should remain alert for severe weather, and be ready to take the appropriate actions if necessary.
TORNADO WARNING (for the vicinity of the Administrative and Operations Centers)
The GSWSA Dispatch Center shall immediately broadcast the Warning as follows:

  • Announcement over the 800 MHz radio on GSWSA Channel 1

  • Announcement over the 800 MHz radio on GSWSA Channel 2

  • Announcement over the Admin and Operations Centers intercom system


All other personnel at the Operations Center shall immediately move away from exterior walls and windows, move to an interior hallway and close office doors. Also close the Shop roll-up doors. DO NOT GO OUTSIDE !
If a tornado begins to actually impact the Administrative and Operation Center, all personnel should get in a “duck-and-cover” position, kneeling down with your head down, using your hands and arms to cover your head and neck.

When the threat has passed, Dispatch will announce “All Clear”, and all personnel can resume normal activities.

For post-tornado activities, follow the Priorities in Section 1.2.2 of the Basic Plan.



Earthquake


      1. SITUATION

GSWSA and its service area are susceptible to the threat of earthquakes.
With a significant portion of GSWSA’s assets and infrastructure being below ground, a major earthquake could be devastating to these systems.
A major earthquake would completely overwhelm all local emergency services and emergency management resources, and Federal assistance could potentially take days to get mobilized, on site, and operational.


      1. THREAT or HAZARD INFORMATION

Earthquakes are common in South Carolina. Approximately 10 to 15 earthquakes are recorded annually, with 3 to 5 of those being strong enough to be felt by people.
Approximately 70% of all South Carolina earthquakes (7 to 10 each year) occur in the Middleton Place-Summerville Seismic Zone.
The Middleton Place-Summerville Seismic Zone was the site of the 1886 Charleston/Summerville earthquake. It is estimated to have been a magnitude 7.3, making it the largest earthquake in recorded history in the entire eastern United States, and was the most destructive United States earthquake of the 19TH century. Approximately 100 people were killed, and damages were estimated to be $5 to $6 million dollars (in 1886 dollars).
Earthquake experts forecast a 40 to 60 percent chance of a magnitude 6 earthquake occurring in the eastern United States within the next 30 years.


      1. CONCEPT of OPERATIONS

Earthquakes strike without warning; there is no time for “last minute” preparations.
In the event of an earthquake, after ensuring your own safety, all personnel should remain on standby and report to their immediate supervisor and monitor the Employee Emergency Phone Line. If unable to travel to the EOC, attempt to establish contact with someone to report your location and status - day or night.
All forms of communication are likely to be out of service, particularly during the first several hours until these systems can implement their emergency plans. This includes two-way radios, cell phones, and landline phones.
A major earthquake will require full-scale implementation of this Plan.


      1. PREPAREDNESS / MITIGATION

Chlorine and ammonia cylinders shall be secured in place at all times, with devices strong enough to prevent them from falling or rolling.

Tall cabinets, bookshelves, electrical panels, control centers, etc., should be secured in place to prevent them from falling over.

Gas and electrical appliances, such as water heaters, should be secured to prevent them from shifting and damaging attached utilities.

Large, heavy, and/or unstable objects should not be placed on upper shelves or on top of tall cabinets or shelves unless securely restrained.




      1. RESPONSE


GENERAL
If inside, STAY THERE. Many injuries occur as people try to run into or out of buildings and are struck by falling debris, glass, etc.

Move away from large windows or large object that may fall. Take cover under a sturdy desk or table, or get inside a doorway in an inside wall and hold on.


If outside, move away from buildings, power poles, large trees, etc.

If in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly as you can and stay in the vehicle, but try to avoid stopping next to buildings, power poles, large trees, etc.


RESPONSE
Be prepared for aftershocks, which can occur repeatedly during the moments, days, weeks, or even months after the main earthquake. Aftershocks are typically less intense than the main earthquake, but may still cause structures or objects that were damaged in the main quake to fail or collapse.
Ensure your own safety! Assess yourself for potential injuries. Assess your surroundings for potential hazards.
Assist others if you can do so SAFELY. Do not put your own safety at risk. Attempt to contact emergency services (Fire Department, EMS, Rescue Squad, etc.) for injured or trapped employees. NOTE: Emergency services will likely be completely overwhelmed. “Professional” help may not be available for up to 72 hours. WE MUST BE PREPARED TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES.
Evacuate buildings or structures if there is any question about their safety. Do not allow others to enter until it has been assessed and cleared as safe to enter.
Report to, or check-in with, the Operations Center.
Work with ICS Staff to develop and implement a PLANNED and COORDINATED Action Plan, with well-defined priorities and clear, specific objectives. Doing what you think needs to be done (called freelancing) may very well be the wrong thing to do, and just might be extremely dangerous.
All initial Response activities shall be done in accordance with the Priorities established in Section 1.2.2 of the Basic Plan. Following are some example activities that may apply under the ICS Priorities.
LIFE SAFETY

  • Care for injured persons.

  • Search for missing / unaccounted for persons.

  • Assist GSWSA personnel in the rescue of their families.

  • Ensure hazardous material leaks / releases that pose a threat to the community are stopped and contained.

  • Communicate with the Fire Department. Make water available for fire fighting, even if it is non-potable. (Fires often cause tremendous additional damage following an earthquake.)

  • If available, utilize our specialized equipment (backhoes, excavators, Vac Truck, wastewater video cameras, shoring equipment, technical rescue equipment, etc.) to assist with community search and rescue.

  • If necessary, isolate undamaged water storage tanks to preserve any water still in the tanks.

  • Restore water service to Critical Customers. (Hospitals, shelters, the Town’s Emergency


INCIDENT STABILIZATION

  • Ensure all other hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions are addressed or safeguarded.

  • Begin to stabilize and restore the water system.

  • Begin to stabilize and restore the wastewater system.


PROPERTY CONSERVATION

  • Ensure spilled hazardous materials are cleaned up to minimize the effects on surrounding properties and the environment.

  • Ensure our Recovery activities are not causing further harm or damage to any Commission, private, or public properties.

  • Ensure our Recovery activities are not causing further harm or damage to the environment.


Severe Thunderstorm


      1. SITUATION


NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory defines a severe thunderstorm as having either tornadoes, gusts at least 58 mph, or hail at least 3/4 inch in diameter
GSWSA and its service area are susceptible to the threat of severe thunderstorms. In addition to tornadoes, which severe thunderstorms can produce (refer to ESG-2), the other hazards of these storms are lightning, strong winds, flash flooding, and hail.
Lightning causes an average of 80 fatalities and 300 injuries each year across the nation. Lightning is involved with each and every one of the approximately 100,000 thunderstorms that occur each year in the United States. About 10% of these, or 10,000 storms, are classified as “Severe.”
Winds associated with a severe thunderstorm can exceed 100 mph and cause damage equal to a tornado. This straight-line wind is called a downburst or microburst, and comes from fast-moving air coming down out of a storm and striking the ground.
Flash Flooding is the leading cause of death associated with thunderstorms, averaging more than 140 fatalities per year. This hazard is minimized in the “flat-land” of our region, but is still a potential threat under certain conditions.
Hail causes more than $1 billion in property damage each year.
In our region, thunderstorms typically occur during the warm summer months, fueled by the heating of the air that occurs. At any given moment around the world, there are approximately 1,800 thunderstorms in progress, totaling more than 16 million per year.


      1. THREAT or HAZARD INFORMATION

Thunderstorm: A storm that produces lightning, generally involving heavy rain.


Severe Thunderstorm: A thunderstorm that produces a tornado, hail at least ¾ inch in diameter, or winds of 58 mph or stronger.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for the formation of severe thunderstorms. Indicates these storms could form.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Issued by the National Weather Service when a severe thunderstorm has formed.


      1. CONCEPT of OPERATIONS


SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH


  • The GSWSA Dispatch Center, when requested by Safety Manager, shall broadcast the Tornado Watch as follows:

  • Announcement over the 800 MHz radio on GSWSA Channel 1

  • Announcement over the 800 MHz radio on GSWSA Channel 2

  • Announcement over the Admin and Operations Centers intercom system

  • E-mail sent to the newsgroups

All employees should remain alert for severe weather, and be ready to take the appropriate actions if necessary.


SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING (for the Grand Strand Water & Sewer Authority service area)
The GSWSA Dispatch Center shall immediately broadcast the Warning as follows:

  • Announcement over the 800 MHz radio on GSWSA Channel 1

  • Announcement over the 800 MHz radio on GSWSA Channel 2

  • Announcement over the Administrative and Operations Centers intercom system

  • E-mail sent to the newsgroups

All employees should remain alert for severe weather, and be ready to take the appropriate actions if necessary.


Foremen or supervisors with field jobs planned or in progress shall make every effort to postpone the work until the threat of severe weather has passed.


      1. SEVERE THUNDERSTORM IN PROGRESS

In the field, get inside a vehicle and do not touch anything metal.


In a building, move away from large windows, large electrical appliances or equipment, avoid using corded telephones if possible, and DO NOT wear a corded headset connected to a corded telephone. (Wireless headsets, cordless phones, and cellular phones do not present a danger.)
If caught outside and unable to get to shelter or a vehicle, stay away from tall trees, power poles, etc., which may act to attract lightning. Do not touch, hold, or stay next to anything metal.
If outside and you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground. DO NOT lie down.
Lightning can “reach out” several miles from the actual storm, so just because you aren’t directly under the cloud and rain does not mean you are safe from lightning.
To determine how far away lightning is, count the number of seconds between a lightning flash and the sound of thunder from that lightning. (Use a watch, or count one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, etc.) Divide the number of seconds by 5. That will tell you approximately how many miles away the lightning was.
Interesting fact: The air around a lightning bolt is heated to around 50,000 degrees F, about 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun! The explosive heating and rapid cooling of this air causes the shock wave we hear as thunder.
For post-storm response / recovery activities, if necessary, follow the Priorities in Section 1.2 of the Basic Plan, and refer to ESG-7 for Power Outage procedures.




Multiple Employees Injured


      1. SITUATION

South Carolina law requires employers to report any catastrophic work-related incident, which results in three (3) or more workers being admitted to the hospital, to the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office within eight (8) hours of its occurrence.




      1. EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

As required by established procedures in the GSWSA Health & Safety Manual, all work-related injuries or illnesses are to be promptly reported to the affected employee’s immediate supervisor, Safety Manager, and the Human Resources Manager.


Any single work-related incident involving multiple injuries shall be immediately reported to the appropriate supervisor(s) and the Human Resources Manager.
As soon as possible, the Human Resources Manager shall ensure the appropriate Division Manager(s) and the CEO are notified.
The Human Resources Manager shall ensure that the appropriate emergency services have been requested, including EMS, Fire Department, Police Department, Rescue Squad, etc., as necessary.
The first and highest priority is to ensure proper care and treatment of the injured employees without jeopardizing the safety of others.
If the incident was witnessed by other, non-injured employees, consider the emotional trauma they may be suffering. GSWSA’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) may be a resource or for immediate assistance, Police, Fire, and EMS may be able to activate other resources as well.
When it is known that three (3) or more GSWSA employees have been admitted to the hospital, the Human Resources Manager shall verbally report this to SC OSHA at (803) 734-9607. This number is at their Columbia office, and is answered 24/7.
The Human Resources Manager shall coordinate with the hospital(s) to ensure the employees’ families are being notified.
Consider activating ISF-3, Emergency Communications.
Refer to the GSWSA Health & Safety Manual for additional related procedures, such as Workers’ Compensation, Incident Investigation, etc.


Employee Fatality


      1. SITUATION

South Carolina law requires employers to report the work-related death of an employee to the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office within eight (8) hours of its occurrence.




      1. EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

As required by established procedures in the GSWSA Health & Safety Manual, all work-related injuries or illnesses are to be promptly reported to the affected employee’s immediate supervisor and the Human Resources Manager.


Any work-related incident involving serious injury or death shall be immediately reported to the appropriate supervisor(s), the Safety Manager, and the Human Resources Manager.
The Human Resources Manager shall ensure the appropriate Division Manager(s) and the CEO are immediately notified.
The Human Resources Manager shall ensure that the appropriate emergency services have been requested, including EMS, Fire Department, Police Department, Rescue Squad, etc., as necessary.
The first and highest priority is to ensure proper care and treatment of the injured employee without jeopardizing the safety of others.
If the incident was witnessed by other, non-injured employees, consider the emotional trauma they may be suffering. GSWSA’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) may be a resource or for immediate assistance, Police, Fire, and EMS may be able to activate other resources as well, if necessary.
When it is known that incident resulted in the death of a GSWSA employee, the Human Resources Manager shall verbally report this to SC OSHA..
The Human Resources Manager shall coordinate with the hospital and/or emergency services to ensure the employee’s family is being notified.
Consider activating ISF-3, Emergency Communications.
Consider the need for counseling or emotional support for other, non-involved employees as well. Learning about the sudden death of a co-worker can be extremely traumatic.


Power Outage


      1. SITUATION

All GSWSA facilities depend on a constant supply of electrical power in order to operate effectively and efficiently.


A loss of electrical power to GSWSA facilities can potentially compromise GSWSA’s ability to fulfill its primary mission of providing safe drinking water to our customers and treating their wastewater.
There are numerous different events and situations that can lead to a loss of commercial power at GSWSA facilities. In general, the more facilities experiencing a loss of commercial power, the more critical the situation is.


      1. THREAT of HAZARD INFORMATION

The list of natural events that can lead to a loss of commercial power includes, but is not limited to: thunderstorm, tornado, tropical storm / hurricane, earthquake, snow / ice / sleet / freezing rain, solar flare, and high winds not associated with any of the above.


In addition to natural events, there are other potential circumstances that can cause a loss of commercial power. These include, but are not limited to: planned maintenance or repairs, equipment failure, human error, and vandalism / sabotage / terrorism.
In September 1989, Hurricane Hugo resulted in complete loss of commercial power to the entire region. The electrical distribution system was devastated, and many areas were without electricity for 1 to 2 weeks.
In March 1993, a winter blizzard (frequently referred to as the “Storm of the Century” or the “White Hurricane”) brought snow, freezing rain, and hurricane-force winds which resulted in widespread power outage. An interesting complication that occurred during this event was the buildup of salt on electrical transformers, which was carried inland by the hurricane force winds coming off the ocean.
In September 1999, Hurricane Floyd resulted in loss of commercial power to approximately 50% of GSWSA’s facilities.


      1. CONCEPT of OPERATIONS

In addition to numerous stationary emergency generators, GSWSA owns and operates a sizeable fleet of mobile emergency generators. Refer to Appendix 9 for detailed information on emergency generators.




      1. PREPAREDNESS / MITIGATION

The Technical Services Department is responsible for ensuring all emergency generators are in good working order and ready for activation and/or deployment at all times.




      1. RESPONSE

Classify the incident in accordance with Section 1.6 of the Basic Plan.


Notify Safety Manager for any incident classified as Level 2 or higher.
Implement appropriate levels of Incident Management / Incident Command.
ISF-12, Wastewater Collections is primarily responsible for deploying mobile emergency generators to Wastewater Pump Stations as needed.
ISF-13, Electrical & Emergency Power will provide support and assistance as required by the incident.


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