Mock disaster simulates Greenfield chemical spill

As sirens blared and firefighters suited up, the word came in over the radio: A vehicle had struck a tanker full of hazardous chemicals on the railroad tracks across South Washington Street in Greenfield, and industrial solvent was spilling out of the side.

While there was no actual chemical spill, to the more than 50 people who participated in a full-scale disaster simulation in Greenfield on Wednesday, emergency protocols still had to be practiced.

“I was very pleased with the exercise,” said Jim Lyle, director of the Highland County Emergency Management Agency.

The exercise, which is required by law to be carried out periodically in order to keep emergency response units up to snuff, included the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District, the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, Greenfield Police Department, Highland District Hospital, Adena Greenfield Medical Center and the American Red Cross, as well as volunteers who acted as victims.


This reporter participated in the exercise as a public information officer, whose duty is to alert the press through various mediums and apprise the public of emergency situations.
At the scene of the spill, several children and a man were laying on the ground around the railroad tracks.

Each held a card that detailed their symptoms for medical responders to simulate treatment, and several of the younger “victims” were more than happy to play the part.

While emergency workers and hazardous material technicians responded to the scene, Red Cross volunteers established a shelter at the First Presbyterian Church in Greenfield to house evacuees.

Several victims were transported to the hospital in Greenfield, while others were sent to HDH in Hillsboro.

Despite some simulation-related communications issues between the hospitals and EMS units, the exercise went smoothly, Lyle said.
“We made some mistakes, and some of them were mine, some of them were just because we hadn’t done a full-scale in some time, but none of them were earth-shattering,” he said.

Lyle said emergency responders in Highland County have never failed an exercise, although the simulation isn’t necessarily a pass-or-fail ordeal. According to Lyle, the main purpose of the exercise is to find areas of improvement in local emergency response.

“It was a good exercise,” he said. “We should do it more often, but getting everybody together to do it is hard.”
In several weeks, Lyle said some of those who evaluated and participated in the exercise will get together and come up with any necessary action items to improve emergency response procedures.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.

Courtesy of Times Gazette

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst. EMA Director
Posted: Jun 26, 2017 9:25 am

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 9:32 am

Mock Disaster Drill

The Highland County Emergency Management Agency and first responders from across the county will be participating in a mock disaster drill Wednesday in Greenfield.


Jim Lyle, emergency management director, said the drill on June 21 will result in the closing of South Washington Street from South Street to Lyndon Avenue from 5-10 p.m.

Lyle said sheriff, police, fire and EMS personnel from across Highland County will participate in the annual drill, which is a required project under the law.



The mock disaster – specific details are not supposed to be released in advance – involves a HAZMAT response to a hazardous chemical emergency.



As described on the Highland County EMA website, “The Office of Emergency Management has a mission which is mandated under Ohio Revised Code Section 5502, which requires every county to have an Emergency Management program.



The purpose of such a program is to minimize the effects of a disaster and to help the community recover. There is a 4-stage process to the program.”



Questions can be directed or more information obtained by calling 937-393-5880.



Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at gabernathy@timesgazette.com.

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst. EMA Director
Posted: Jun 19, 2017 7:09 pm

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 9:29 am

Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 18-24, 2017

SUMMERTIME IS PEAK TIME FOR THUNDER AND LIGHTNING STORMS

Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 18-24

COLUMBUS, OH – In an annual coordinated effort with the National Weather Service (NWS), the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness is promoting June 18-24 as Lightning Safety Awareness Week and encourages all Ohioans to know what to do before, during and after thunderstorms, and to practice severe weather safety and preparedness throughout the summer.

Summer begins on June 21, and summertime is the peak season for thunderstorms in the United States.

So far this year, according to the NWS, there has been one lightning-strike fatality. Last year, there were 38 lightning fatalities in a total of 17 states, including an 8-year-old boy from Coshocton, Ohio.

Although lightning fatalities in 2016 were above the average of about 30 per year, overall, the reduction in lightning-related deaths has dropped. The NWS attributes this reduction (from about 50 deaths per year) to greater awareness of lightning danger, and people seeking safety when thunderstorms threaten.

There is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder, you are likely within striking distance of the storm. Lightning safety is an inconvenience that can save your life. So, “When thunder roars, go indoors!” Stop outdoor activities and seek safe shelter immediately.

The NWS and the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness encourage Ohioans to prepare for thunder and lightning storms – and all severe weather events.
If thunder and lightning storms are happening in your area, you should do the following:
• Listen to current weather reports on local TV or radio stations, or use a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio.
• Avoid contact with corded phones and devices, including those plugged into electrical outlets for recharging. Cordless and wireless phones not connected to wall outlets are safe to use.
• Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. If you can do so safely, unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers, and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
• Avoid contact with plumbing and water. Do not wash your hands, take a shower. Do not wash dishes or do laundry. Water and plumbing conduct electricity.
If you’re caught outside:
• Take shelter in a sturdy, substantial building. Avoid isolated sheds or small structures in open areas, such as baseball dugouts.
• Avoid natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area. Also avoid hilltops or open fields.
• Avoid being in or near bodies of water such as the beach, a swimming pool, fishing, or on a boat.
• Avoid contact with anything metal – tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicycles.
• If driving during a severe thunderstorm, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency hazard lights until the heavy rain stops.

minimize the risk of being struck by lightning, just remember “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!” and stay indoors until at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder or crack of lightning.

For additional information on lightning safety, visit the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness site at www.weathersafety.ohio.gov or the NWS site at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.

OCSWA is comprised of 16 organizations and state agencies that are dedicated in teaching Ohioans severe weather safety and preparedness.
# # #

For additional information, contact:
Kelli Blackwell, Ohio EMA, 614-799-3694
Brandon Peloquin, NWS-Wilmington Office, 937-383-0428

Author: Asst. Director David Bushelman
Posted: Jun 16, 2017 8:42 am


Basic Flood Safety Tips

Basic Flood Safety Tips
 Turn Around, Don’t Drown!® - If you are driving and have come to a flooded area, turn around and
go the other way. Many deaths have resulted from attempts to drive (or walk) through flooded
roadways.
 Just 6 inches of moving water can knock over an adult. And 2 feet of rushing water can carry away
most vehicles, including SUVs and pickup trucks.
 If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1
cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.
 If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to
higher ground. If the water is moving, do not leave your car.
 Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can
flood quickly and with little warning.

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst. EMA Director
Posted: Mar 20, 2017 8:45 am


Know the Weather Terms

Know the Weather Terms – Ensure that every member in the household knows the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. A tornado warning is issued when a tornado is imminent or occurring. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, do not stop to take photos or shoot video. Seek safe shelter immediately.

During tornado drills or actual tornado warnings, remember to DUCK!
D – Go DOWN to the lowest level, stay away from windows
U – Get UNDER something (such as a basement staircase or heavy table or desk)
C – COVER your head
K – KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst. EMA Director
Posted: Mar 20, 2017 8:44 am


Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 19-25

In a coordinated effort with the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (OCSWA), Governor
John R. Kasich is proclaiming March 19-25 as Severe Weather Awareness Week and encourages all
Ohioans to learn what to do to protect themselves from spring and summer weather hazards and home
emergencies.

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst. EMA Director
Posted: Mar 13, 2017 2:36 pm


National Weather Service confirms 3 tornadoes in Highland County

As of 10:30 p.m. Thursday night, the National Weather Service has confirmed three tornadoes touched down in Highland County on Wednesday morning.

Two of the tornadoes, one near Leesburg and one near Greenfield, were classified EF0 (wind speeds 65-85 miles per hour), while one later Wednesday morning near New Market was an EF1 (wind speeds 86-110 miles per hour).

According to the NWS, the first tornado touched down south of Leesburg around 2:31 a.m. Wednesday and lasted until approximately 2:39 a.m. The tornado’s path was 250 yards wide and seven miles long, and its maximum wind speed was 85 miles per hour.

The following information was posted by the NWS about the Leesburg tornado:

Damage was first observed at a farm residence on the north side of Larkin Road, where one tree was downed and a barn was destroyed. Northeast of there, some minor tree damage was seen on state Route 72 and along tree lines in adjacent fields.

Structural damage occurred at a property on US Route 62 near the intersection with Old US 62, with several outbuildings destroyed or heavily damaged. The house at this location had minor damage, mainly to roofing materials, with shingles removed on multiple sides. One large evergreen tree was uprooted, and other trees were snapped. At another property slightly northeast on US Route 62, a garage was destroyed, and numerous trees behind the garage were snapped.

On Leaverton Road, a barn was partially collapsed. Two evergreen trees were snapped, and other tree damage was observed both at this location and across the field to the east. Slightly south of this location, also on Leaverton Road, several trees were downed along a low spot on the road, and a fence was blown flat. Minor tree damage was also observed where the tornado crossed Smith Road, and a garage door was blown in at a residence on State Route 771, with some trees snapped in the vicinity. A few trees were also damaged where the tornado crossed Monroe Road.

Tree damage was observed to be significant in several locations along Milner Road, which was still due to cleanup efforts just east of Monroe Road. A house on Milner Road sustained siding damage to both the east and west sides of the structure, and tree damage was extensive at this property. An adjacent modular home had its roof removed, and other outbuildings were damaged, with debris thrown northeast across an adjacent field. A few buildings at this property also exhibited signs of mud splatter.

A hay barn on Bridges Road had most of its top half removed, with the top also removed from another adjacent outbuilding. A home on Big Oak Road had part of its roof removed, with debris observed in an adjacent field, likely a result of damage further to the west.

The last observed damage from this tornado occurred along Cope Road, where an outbuilding was mostly destroyed, and a garage had part of its roof removed. Debris was thrown across Cope Road into a field to the east and southeast. There was no tree damage observed along the tree line to the east of Cope Road, so it is believed that the tornado caused no further damage beyond this point.

Just one minute after this tornado is believed to have ended, the National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down near Greenfield. The tornado began at approximately 2:40 a.m. and ended around 2:45 a.m., with 65 mile per hour winds. The tornado’s width was 100 yards, and its length was 4.6 miles.

The following information has been provided by the NWS about the tornado near Greenfield:

One tree was downed at a residence north of the intersection of state Route 138 and Hardins Creek Road. Further north along State Route 138, several trees were snapped.

On Road T-319A, a small unanchored shed was completely removed from its slab, and a barn had part of its roof removed on both its northwest and southeast sides. In addition, some trees in this area were snapped.

The next observed damage was along state Route 753 about one mile north of the bridge over Rattlesnake Creek, with several snapped trees. A slightly more concentrated area of tree damage was observed on Paint Creek Road just to the west of Paint Creek. Some tall trees were snapped, and sheet metal debris from earlier damage was also found along Paint Creek Road.

To the west of Paint Creek in Ross County, no further damage was observed.

The final tornado, with the largest wind speed, began in New Market at approximately 7:39 a.m. and lasted until 7:41 a.m. This tornado had 95 mile per hour winds, with a width of 150 yards and length of 2.2 miles.

The following information was provided by the NWS about this tornado.

At a location on Sanders Road just west of US Route 62, a barn roof was significantly damaged, with roofing material thrown to the east as much as a half mile away. A few trees were downed in this area.

Damage was most significant at a dairy farm on state Route 136, about 1.3 miles south of Millers Chapel Road. A large barn at this property experienced a significant amount of roof damage, including a total loss of the roof on the east side of the structure. Insulation, wood beams and sheet metal from this roof were scattered across the property and well into a field across state Route 136. A roof was also removed from a dog kennel, and a roof was partially removed from another barn at the property. Other outbuildings had minor damage as well.

The house at this property sustained minor roofing damage and several broken windows, with some damage (and partial removal) of siding. Mud splatter was observed on several sides of both the main barn and the house. Trees were snapped or downed at this property, as well as along a tree line further to the west.

Tree damage occurred on Millers Chapel Road near the intersection with Poole Lane. A few other trees were snapped in the field just to the north of Poole Lane, but damage was not observed west of the end point of Poole Lane.

No fatalities or injuries have been reported due to any of the tornadoes.

The Highland County Press
Friday, March 3, 2017 12:27 AM

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst. EMA Director
Posted: Mar 3, 2017 2:36 am


National Weather Service confirms 3 tornadoes in Highland County

As of 10:30 p.m. Thursday night, the National Weather Service has confirmed three tornadoes touched down in Highland County on Wednesday morning.

Two of the tornadoes, one near Leesburg and one near Greenfield, were classified EF0 (wind speeds 65-85 miles per hour), while one later Wednesday morning near New Market was an EF1 (wind speeds 86-110 miles per hour).

According to the NWS, the first tornado touched down south of Leesburg around 2:31 a.m. Wednesday and lasted until approximately 2:39 a.m. The tornado’s path was 250 yards wide and seven miles long, and its maximum wind speed was 85 miles per hour.

The following information was posted by the NWS about the Leesburg tornado:

Damage was first observed at a farm residence on the north side of Larkin Road, where one tree was downed and a barn was destroyed. Northeast of there, some minor tree damage was seen on state Route 72 and along tree lines in adjacent fields.

Structural damage occurred at a property on US Route 62 near the intersection with Old US 62, with several outbuildings destroyed or heavily damaged. The house at this location had minor damage, mainly to roofing materials, with shingles removed on multiple sides. One large evergreen tree was uprooted, and other trees were snapped. At another property slightly northeast on US Route 62, a garage was destroyed, and numerous trees behind the garage were snapped.

On Leaverton Road, a barn was partially collapsed. Two evergreen trees were snapped, and other tree damage was observed both at this location and across the field to the east. Slightly south of this location, also on Leaverton Road, several trees were downed along a low spot on the road, and a fence was blown flat. Minor tree damage was also observed where the tornado crossed Smith Road, and a garage door was blown in at a residence on State Route 771, with some trees snapped in the vicinity. A few trees were also damaged where the tornado crossed Monroe Road.

Tree damage was observed to be significant in several locations along Milner Road, which was still due to cleanup efforts just east of Monroe Road. A house on Milner Road sustained siding damage to both the east and west sides of the structure, and tree damage was extensive at this property. An adjacent modular home had its roof removed, and other outbuildings were damaged, with debris thrown northeast across an adjacent field. A few buildings at this property also exhibited signs of mud splatter.

A hay barn on Bridges Road had most of its top half removed, with the top also removed from another adjacent outbuilding. A home on Big Oak Road had part of its roof removed, with debris observed in an adjacent field, likely a result of damage further to the west.

The last observed damage from this tornado occurred along Cope Road, where an outbuilding was mostly destroyed, and a garage had part of its roof removed. Debris was thrown across Cope Road into a field to the east and southeast. There was no tree damage observed along the tree line to the east of Cope Road, so it is believed that the tornado caused no further damage beyond this point.

Just one minute after this tornado is believed to have ended, the National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down near Greenfield. The tornado began at approximately 2:40 a.m. and ended around 2:45 a.m., with 65 mile per hour winds. The tornado’s width was 100 yards, and its length was 4.6 miles.

The following information has been provided by the NWS about the tornado near Greenfield:

One tree was downed at a residence north of the intersection of state Route 138 and Hardins Creek Road. Further north along State Route 138, several trees were snapped.

On Road T-319A, a small unanchored shed was completely removed from its slab, and a barn had part of its roof removed on both its northwest and southeast sides. In addition, some trees in this area were snapped.

The next observed damage was along state Route 753 about one mile north of the bridge over Rattlesnake Creek, with several snapped trees. A slightly more concentrated area of tree damage was observed on Paint Creek Road just to the west of Paint Creek. Some tall trees were snapped, and sheet metal debris from earlier damage was also found along Paint Creek Road.

To the west of Paint Creek in Ross County, no further damage was observed.

The final tornado, with the largest wind speed, began in New Market at approximately 7:39 a.m. and lasted until 7:41 a.m. This tornado had 95 mile per hour winds, with a width of 150 yards and length of 2.2 miles.

The following information was provided by the NWS about this tornado.

At a location on Sanders Road just west of US Route 62, a barn roof was significantly damaged, with roofing material thrown to the east as much as a half mile away. A few trees were downed in this area.

Damage was most significant at a dairy farm on state Route 136, about 1.3 miles south of Millers Chapel Road. A large barn at this property experienced a significant amount of roof damage, including a total loss of the roof on the east side of the structure. Insulation, wood beams and sheet metal from this roof were scattered across the property and well into a field across state Route 136. A roof was also removed from a dog kennel, and a roof was partially removed from another barn at the property. Other outbuildings had minor damage as well.

The house at this property sustained minor roofing damage and several broken windows, with some damage (and partial removal) of siding. Mud splatter was observed on several sides of both the main barn and the house. Trees were snapped or downed at this property, as well as along a tree line further to the west.

Tree damage occurred on Millers Chapel Road near the intersection with Poole Lane. A few other trees were snapped in the field just to the north of Poole Lane, but damage was not observed west of the end point of Poole Lane.

No fatalities or injuries have been reported due to any of the tornadoes.

The Highland County Press
Friday, March 3, 2017 12:27 AM

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst. EMA Director
Posted: Mar 3, 2017 2:35 am


NWS makes it official: Tornado struck Highland County

National Weather Service officials confirmed Thursday that at least one tornado struck Highland County in the early morning hours Wednesday, carving a path of about seven miles.

While NWS confirmed that a tornado struck in the Leesburg area, the service had yet to determine the strength of the tornado. Residents in other parts of the county have said they believe their property was also the victim of a tornado, not just high winds.

Either way, the storms that rolled through the county beginning around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday left a path of property destruction in their wake.

Highland County Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Lyle said Thursday afternoon he was touring the county with a NWS official as they determine the scope of the damage and whether other areas were hit with what could officially be designated a tornado.

Lyle said officials believe the tornado began on SR 72 in Penn Township, just north of Samantha and just below Leesburg. He said they were determining whether it lifted and touched down in other areas, or whether damage at other parts of the county were due to high winds, not a tornado.

Lyle said that so far, he has identified 12 different properties that experienced damage, “seven what I would call severe.” He said he hoped to have more complete information Friday.

Among the severely-impacted properties were the Jolly Dairy Farm property on SR 136, with barns destroyed and a cow killed. On Cope Road near Greenfield, an older house was damaged and a garage was destroyed. Lyle said earlier that the tornado picked up a barn in the 1000 block of SR 771, spun it around and landed it against a house.

The Wilmington office of NWS issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying that the storm survey has so far determined that the tornado near Leesburg had “a path length of approximately 7 miles. Further details such as wind speed, path width, and EF rating have yet to be determined.”

By: Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at gabernathy@civitasmedia.com. The Times Gazette

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst. EMA Director
Posted: Mar 3, 2017 12:25 am


HCEMA on INSTAGRAM

Highland County EMA now has a Instagram account. Follow us at highland_county-ema.

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst. EMA Director
Posted: Jul 11, 2016 12:27 pm

Updated: Jan 9, 2017 9:22 am

Document and Insure your Property!


Your home, your personal belongings, and are business are meaningful and valuable assets. If a disaster strikes, having insurance for your home or business property is the best way to ensure you will have the necessary financial resources to help you repair, rebuild or replace whatever is damaged. Yet, more than half of all the homeowners in the United States do not carry adequate homeowner’s insurance to replace their home and its contents, should a catastrophic loss occur. Now, before a disaster strikes, take the time to:


America’s PrepareAthon!


Complete factsheet: http://1.usa.gov/1XCgtJ5

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst.EMA Director
Posted: May 23, 2016 9:40 am


Build a Disaster Preparedness Kit


Get Ready, Ohio!
Build a Disaster Preparedness Kit


For Disaster Preparedness Kit checklists for your home, vehicle, pets, and more, visit the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness site at www.weathersafety.ohio.gov. Scroll down to the Severe Weather Preparedness box.

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst.EMA Director
Posted: Feb 9, 2016 7:17 pm


Be Prepared for Power Outages!

Power outages can occur because of multiple reasons: utility blackouts or severe weather such as thunderstorms, snow and ice storms, or strong winds. Whatever the reason, power outages can affect thousands – even millions of people for an extended period of time. Know what to do before an incident occurs.

In preparation for a power outage or any emergency, every household should have a disaster supply kit that contains an alternative light source such as battery operated flashlights or lanterns.

For additional tips on how to plan for a power outage, click: http://www.weathersafety.ohio.gov/WinterPowerOutages.aspx

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst.EMA Director
Posted: Dec 20, 2015 12:15 pm


EMA Board Meeting


The Highland County EMA Board will meet on July 18th, 2017, at 7:00 PM at the EMA Office.

Author: D.Bushelman - Asst.EMA Director
Posted: Mar 18, 2013 7:00 pm

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 8:16 am