Disasters that could beset Park City include earthquakes, wildfires | ParkRecord.com

Disasters that could beset Park City include earthquakes, wildfires

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The City Hall figure whose duties include preparing Park City for emergencies has listed some of the disasters or other terrible events that could strike the city, submitting a memo to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council that appeared to be at least partially drafted in response to the tragedies in Japan.

Hugh Daniels, who directs City Hall’s emergency programs, notes the possibility of an earthquake in the area as being among the disasters. The region is seismically active, and the prospects of an earthquake shaking Park City has long been of concern.

"We do live in earthquake country and while there won’t be a tsunami, we can have flooding," Daniels said in the memo.

Some of the other events that Park City is susceptible to, according to the memo, include:

  • wildfires
  • explosions
  • severe weather
  • the disruption of utilities
  • episodes involving hazardous materials
  • pandemics
  • high winds
  • terrorism

    "In light of the terrible disasters that have occurred in Japan, the question frequently comes up, ‘Are We Prepared?" the memo said.

    Daniels, who once served on the City Council, has greatly widened City Hall’s planning efforts to handle an emergency situation during his time directing the programs. In the memo, he said City Hall over the last four years has "invested significant time and money in preparing our response to local emergencies and disasters."

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    The memo said City Hall meets the requirements for training personnel for emergencies, including the elected officials and full-time staffers. Part-time staffers and workers hired seasonally also have been included.

    Meanwhile, officials also "continue to engage our citizens and businesses in ways to become better prepared personally, have necessary communications tools, knowledge on how to respond to an emergency and be self-sufficient," the memo said.

    City Hall only occasionally needs to put its emergency apparatus into full-scale operation, but officials have handled situations such as the arrival of swine flu and brush fires.

    More information about the municipal government’s emergency preparations is available on City Hall’s website, http://www.parkcity.org. Select the ‘Government’ dropdown menu and then choose ‘Emergency Management.’

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