The City of Port Huron's emergency jurisdiction is established pursuant to Act 390 of the Public Acts of 1976 with a local coordinator appointed pursuant to Section 9 of the Act. The Office of Emergency Management and the Emergency Management Coordinator are established under the authority of Chapter 11, Emergency Management, Code of Ordinances, City of Port Huron. The city provides independent direction and control of disaster plans and programs and emergency response. Mutual Aid Agreements exist with the Charter Townships of Fort Gratiot and Port Huron, the City of Marysville, Michigan and the City of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Requests for state or federal assistance are made directly to state government. The Emergency Action Guidelines (EAG) is designed to provide a single plan for all types of disasters, to organize, coordinate and direct the actions of the city relief forces in the event of disaster and save lives, property and reduce damage. The purpose of the EAG is to identify and assign to various departments and agencies their responsibilities and tasks for disaster operations.
Although the City of Port Huron is a separate emergency jurisdiction, coordination with the county is necessary. County government operates certain facilities such as the Department of Social Services and Health Department that provides services county-wide. The City may directly request the services of these departments. Liaison people have been designated from the City to assist these departments in coordinating their services with City groups.
The City of Port Huron Office of Emergency Management and the emergency management program meet the requirements of Act 390 of the Public Acts of 1976, State of Michigan.
The City of Port Huron Emergency Action Guidelines are organized to support the incident command system. The Fire Chief is the designated Emergency Management Official. Emergency departments have pre-organized interagency command. Departments with emergency task assignments are responsible for developing and maintaining their own Operating Guidelines to support the overall plan.
The City of Port Huron Emergency Action Guidelines require that all governmental departments responsible for emergency functions be listed in the basic plan. Departments participating in emergencies should provide status information to the Incident Commander. The City Manager or Emergency Services Coordinator has the authority to activate the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located at the Municipal Office Center (MOC) when necessary.
Since September 11, 2001, the Emergency Management Office is also involved in the new Mission of Homeland Security for the City of Port Huron's on-going effort to coordinate between all emergency organizations including police, fire, HazMat and EMS with a goal of being prepared in the event of a possible terrorist event. This extra responsibility includes: training, planning, exercising, and equipping our agencies to a new level of preparedness.
The Emergency Action Guidelines provide a system through which multi-agency responses will be effectively pre-planned, organized, and coordinated. Through an integrated command system, agencies may develop common terminologies, compatible communication systems, coordinated planning procedures and efficient standard operating guidelines.
The outdoor warning system, consisting of five (5) sirens, was installed and put into service in October 2000 to provide early warning of tornadoes, dangerous storms or chemical emergencies. This system is tested the first Monday of each month at 12:30 pm. During monthly tests, sirens will be sounded for one (1) minute. In the event of an actual emergency, the sirens would be sounded for three (3) minutes.
When hearing the outdoor warning sirens at times other than publicized testing times, residents will need to monitor their local radio or cable television station to receive emergency directions and information.
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Shelter-in-place procedures are often used as an alternative to an evacuation. Occasionally there is not enough time to safely and effectively evacuate an area or the potential hazard may not require an evacuation. It is important to know how to effectively shelter-in-place and prepare prior to an incident. The following information is provided as a guideline for use when asked to shelter-in-place.
- Prior to an emergency, identify an interior room to use as a shelter. Preferably one with the fewest windows and doors and equipped with a water supply.
- Prepare the room with an emergency supplies kit including water, non-perishable food, battery operated radio, flashlight, and equipment to seal the room off. This equipment includes:
- Plastic to cover windows and doors.
- Tape to seal plastic.
- Sign making materials to communicate through the windows if needed.
- When an emergency occurs and you are instructed to shelter-in-place, you should do the following:
- Close windows and doors.
- Turn off air handling systems.
- Assemble loved ones in your shelter room.
- Gather pets and pet supplies if time permits.
- Seal windows/doors from inside the room.
- Listen to radio for updates/further instructions.
For additional information about preparedness, visit: www.ready.gov