[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Coopersburg as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 2-14-1989 by Ord. No. 430 (Ch. 1, Part 5A of the 1996 Code)]
The purpose of an emergency management policy is to anticipate the happening of an unexpected event within the Borough giving rise to conditions which could seriously affect the health, safety or welfare of a substantial number of residents and interrupt the operation of essential public services. This is a result of the mandate of Section 7503 of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Services Code, 35 Pa. C.S.A. § 7101 et seq. which requires the Borough of Coopersburg to prepare, maintain and keep current an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) for the prevention and minimization of injury and damage caused by a major emergency or disaster.
Emergency management is not a separate function set apart from the normal responsibilities of local government. It is employed whenever a local government responds to an extraordinary emergency such as a flood, tornado, earthquake, fire, major accident or explosion, the release of toxic or radioactive materials, civil disorder or other disasters whether natural or man-made.
In any major emergency or disaster there must be direction and coordination of services immediately available within the community and with those which must be brought in from elsewhere. These services are both governmental and private. Key personnel from the local police, fire and medical services will be on immediate call. Direction must come from Borough officials and designated citizens who have been identified as being available to respond to an emergency.
Expenses must inevitably be picked up, somehow, after the emergency has passed. Funds may be drawn from either the local government or the private sector. That determination should never be allowed to impede the performance of urgent activities necessitated by disaster.
When the Governor has proclaimed a state of extreme emergency, each political subdivision within the disaster area may enter into contracts and incur obligations necessary to combat such threatened or actual disaster, protect the health and safety of such persons and property and provide emergency assistance to the victims of such disaster. In exercising this authority the Borough may proceed without regard to time consuming procedures and formalities proscribed by law (except for mandatory constitutional and charter requirements) pertaining to the performance of public works, entering into contracts, incurring obligations, employment of temporary workers, rental of equipment, purchase of supplies and materials, levying of taxes and appropriation and expenditure of public funds.
If and when a emergency occurs there will not be time to ask the question: Who shall take the lead in putting an emergency plan into operation? The expected leadership shall come from the following list of individuals:
The Borough Secretary is placed first and last on the list in recognition of the fact that this office will most likely become first involved in notifying and securing the active participation of persons to be in leadership command. It will be the function of the Borough Secretary to work with the leadership in its function.
The purpose of the Emergency Management Committee is to provide broad, authoritative, skilled and experienced leadership essential to effective action in major emergencies.
The Coopersburg Borough Emergency Management Committee shall consist of the Mayor, who shall be the ad hoc chairperson guiding the Coopersburg Borough Emergency Management Committee until it shall have undertaken its initial organization meeting and selected (or approved an appointee of Borough Council) an Emergency Management Coordinator for the Borough. After that event, the Mayor shall remain a member, and second in command, of the Agency.
The Coopersburg Borough Emergency Management Committee shall be an advisory body prior to and during major emergency situations whose purpose will be to prepare and evaluate alternative courses of action capable of being made available during an emergency and bring support and guidance to the person in charge during such emergency situation. Decisions of the Committee, during emergency, are to be advisory only and shall not bind the person in charge to a particular course of action.
Inasmuch as different natural and man-made events which may develop the potential for disaster will call for differing approaches and varied and distinctive problems, at times, an Emergency Operations Plan will have sets of different procedures designed to meet the problems anticipated from the developing event. The Emergency Operations Plan of the Borough of Coopersburg has been set up in contemplation of the following possibilities of events:
Flood, hurricanes, rain and wind.
Electric power failure.
Bomb or device scares.
Search/rescue of missing persons, drowning, downed aircraft, or similar emergency situations.
Train derailments, motor vehicle calamities, fire or explosion related calamities.
Evacuations from distant municipalities (nuclear accident).
At the moment the Emergency Operations Plan goes into effect and the Emergency Management Director or other "leader" in the chain of command begins both an objective and a subjective performance, the ultimate test of judgment in an emergency. Beyond the Plan (which should be at fingertips at this time) the following sequence of activities will take place by the individual in charge:
A quick analysis of the nature and scope of the event; people involved; and persons and institutions needed immediately.
A setting in motion of activity to reach out to county, state and federal civil defense or emergency officials.
A search for private sector responsible persons if the calamity has been set off by actors or agencies of commerce or industry.
A designation of individual or individuals to make records of sequence and happening of events, with objective data development an important priority.
A submission of initial and follow-up reports to county, area or state emergency management offices.
A submission of damage assessment reports when requested.
Review events and plan improvements in existing Emergency Operations Plan.
In response to the mandate of § 7503 of the Pennsylvania Management Services Code, 35 Pa. C.S.A. § 7102 et seq. the Borough of Coopersburg hereby adopts the Generic Emergency Operation Plan submitted by the Department of Property Services of the Office of Civil Defense of the County of Lehigh, submitted January 4, 1989, in form, contents and style as adapted to the Borough institutions and personnel therein named to carry out stated functions. The Emergency Operations Plan of the Borough of Coopersburg shall be revised and readopted as revised, annually, at the first meeting of the Borough Council in January of each calendar year; such action to be taken by resolution, and the first resolution number of each calendar year is so designated to be utilized for this administrative purpose. Each such resolution, from year to year, is hereby designated to be a part and parcel of this article and incorporated by reference therein.
[Adopted 3-22-1994 by Res. No. 2-94 (Ch. 1, Part 5B of the 1996 Code)]
The Borough of Coopersburg Council does hereby approve, adopt and place into immediate effect the Emergency Operations Plan of the Borough of Coopersburg. This plan shall be revised on an annual basis to make certain that it conforms with the requirements of the Lehigh County Emergency Operations Plan.
Editor's Note: The Borough of Coopersburg Emergency Operation Plan is on file in the Borough offices.