Cape Cod Agencies Meet to Discuss Emergency Planning

BARNSTABLE – Various non-profit and social service agencies gathered in Barnstable Village Thursday to get an update on emergency planning on Cape Cod.

It was a chance to learn what help is available in the region when a storm or natural disaster may strike.

“I think it’s really important for people to know how we handle things here on Cape Cod when it comes to storm events. Anytime we have an opportunity to come in and speak to a group about how we work as 15 communities to take a regional approach to our emergencies,” said Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment Director Sean O’Brien.

“We have a pretty good structure and a pretty good way to handle storms for the region, how to handle our sheltering, how to handle our power restoration. So, this was just a good opportunity to come in and talk to folks and make them familiar with what we do.”

The Thursday session, held at the Barnstable County Complex, featured topics ranging from disaster planning and response to training for emergencies, such as school shootings.

The Barnstable Police Department, the Red Cross, and the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment, all made special presentations, among other groups.

Barnstable Police Officer Brian Morrison, a school resource officer, delivered a message of overall safety and awareness at the event.

“Unfortunately we know today there’s a lot of shootings in schools, malls, churches, public places, you name it. Being a school officer, that’s one thing I worry about every day,” said Morrison.

“I think it’s important for people to know that we have a strong mutual aid program. We can have assistance from one town to another. We’re really all geographically linked, it’s a necessity.”

The session was hosted by the Community Health Network Area of the Cape and Islands, created in 1992 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The organization is a local coalition of public, non-profit and private sectors working together to build healthier communities. Established by region, the network uses community-based prevention planning and health promotion.

By TIM DUNN, News Center 

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