LEPC Meeting Minutes

March 3, 2010

Present: Tony Rohrwasser and Wesley Portroy, SBFD; Bob Graham and David Kramer, Emergency Management; Jay Baker, BHS-ID; Bill McCabe, NBVFD; Barry Coleman, LDS Church;  Chet Savage, PVFD; Brad Lowther, HMVFD; Rick Alonzo, BFPD; Emma Fields and Leatha Lockart, Red Cross; Pat Warkentin, BFFD; Ken English, MSVFD; Ken Baker, Vickie Hamilton and Alan Hamilton, BVA; Cecil Garza, US Border Patrol;  Susan Wilson, CBP-OFO; John Youngwirth, BF; Rich Stephens, BC Sheriff;  Arthur Putnam, ARES-AEC; Tina Wilson, BCCH; George Shutes, ITD; Patty Perry, Kootenai Tribe; Darrel Kirking, PHD; John Moss, CCVFD.

 Next meeting: April 7, 2010 0800, Boundary County Courthouse Extension Office

I.                      Announcements: Tony Rohrwasser brought the meeting to order at 0800.

II.                     Dave Kramer – Several Announcements

Grant Request submitted – Remote Community Alert Systems Program 2010

This is a request to create an audible warning system, to be activated by the Sheriff's Office in the event of an emergency. (See attached)

Emergency Management Plan for Boundary County in need of review (Per FEMA)

Available at the Boundary County Web Site – http://www.boundarycountyid.org/emermgmt/index.htm

Need LEPC review of the plan and recommendations for updates to the Mitigation Plan.

Other Nidaho Counties also required by FEMA to have their plans approved.

Tribal Requirements are to be included

Need to document events which occurred subsequent to the Plan initiation

Prior issues include:

flooding – flood plain map is available for review

Need to establish two (2) Forums for public input

Risk Assessment needed (review prior incidents)

Question: how to define the chance of something happening? Quantify 'risk'?

Need to create and define a Mitigation Strategy

Define one goal per hazard

Participation is encouraged following the next three (3) LEPC meetings; participants are encouraged to remain and assist in defining mitigation considerations

Local County, City, Federal law enforcement Officers will be helping support a fund raiser for Idaho Special Olympics on March 20th called a Penguin Plunge.  Participants will raise funds for the chance to jump in the Kootenai River on this day and “earn” their Penguin Plunge “Freezin For A Reason” long sleeve T-shirt.  

III.                    Round Table:

Barry Coleman, LDS:

Amateur Radio exams – LDS Church, Tuesday 23 March – 6PM and Saturday 27 March – 9AM

ESpotter Weather Class – LDS Church,  Wednesday 31 March – 6PM.

Contact Barry for more information:

email Barry at n7bec@yahoo.com

Patty Perry, Kootenai Tribe:

Tribe is continuing progress on the Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Project. The Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative Forestry Committee will meet on Tuesday 9 March - 1:30 p.m. at the Memorial Hall -- some of their work could potentially address wildfire concerns.

Brad Lowther, Hall Mountain Fire District:

Hall Mountain Fire will be having their annual ice rescue practice at 9:00 am Saturday March 6.  The location will be Sinclair Lake on the Moyie River Road.  There will be a barbecue lunch provided.

Arthur Putnam, BNSF:

I recently was appointed the position of Assistant Emergency Coordinator for ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) of Boundary County under Anthony Compton. It is our goal for the coming year to be better prepared to assist the various agencies that may require emergency communications. Part of my job currently is  to make sure we have in place MOU's with agencies that would like such assistance, provided by a volunteer base of Amateur Radio Operators.

I am also the Boundary WARN (Weather Amateur Radio Network) coordinator for the reporting and gathering of weather observations within the County. This is a ARES function which also provides training for net operations and the passing of data. We work in con-junction with the National Weather Service and our reports are sent in nightly. Also we have E-Spotter training arranged for the public on March 31  from 6 - 8 pm and is open to all agencies that might or should report hazardous weather conditions. See  http://www.n7mnk.com for WARN

Tina Wilson, BCCH / NIPIN:

North Idaho Public Information Network (NIPIN) would like the LEPC to know that NIPIN is here as a part of your LEPC.  We believe that NIPIN can be an asset to each organization who attends this meeting.  We are an organization comprised of Public Information Officers (PIO) throughout the five northern counties.  We would like our network to be as strong as possible and would like to invite the PIO’s from each of your organizations to be apart of our network.

We meet quarterly, and keep in touch regularly by email and have a Google group site: http://groups.google.com/group/nipin.  However if you are not able to attend our meetings we would be happy to include you in our email network. Currently the Boundary County membership is Mike Weland, Tony R and Dave Kramer. If you would like me to add you to the network, please send me your information and I will pass it on.

We would like to make a presentation to this group possibly in June to give you more information about how we can assist the LEPC.

Bob Graham, Emergency Manager:

1. The Army Corp of Engineers,(the Corp), turned down our request to assist us in fixing the east end of the slough area that washed away in 2006 and again in 2008. We will meet with the County Commissioners next week to see if the County wishes to take on the task.

2. The Corp in Washington DC is proposing changes to the standards of the river dikes and levees throughout the US. The County, City and the Tribe, met yesterday to draft up a letter opposing the suggested changes. The City, Bonners Ferry, needs to keep their area up to whatever standards, but few or possibly none, of the County dikes would pass even present standards.

Darrel Kirking, Panhandle Health:

Local PIOs, please contact Tina Wilson to build a network within Boundary County.  Panhandle Health plans to meet with the county EMs, hospital representatives, coroners and funeral directors of the five northern counties to begin the process of writing a regional mass fatality plan.

Emma Fields and Leatha Lockart, American Red Cross:

The Red Cross, Boundary County, is asking our LEPC organizations for possible assistance in donations to the Greater Northern Idaho Chapter of American Red Cross to restock our Boundary County Red Cross trailer with Red Cross blankets.  We are requesting $300.00 increments which provide for 25 blankets including shipping.  The blankets are individually sealed and provided for disaster victims and/or distributed in a shelter.

Our current stock of blankets (100) have been ruined from mice infestation.

Anyone contributing to this collection would need to make their check payable to the American Red Cross, with a memo note at the bottom left of their check labeled Boundary County Red Cross blankets.

This  request is narrowed to LEPC attendees, as we only need funds for just the blankets, and once that need would be met, remaining funds would need to be donated to the general fund for Red Cross, which may not be what folks here were intending.

The Red Cross fleet team is coming to Bonners this Friday to inspect the Red Cross trailer, drive it around, check the tires, seal any openings from the mice, and make sure the trailer is in good working condition.  They also have to empty the trailer in order to inspect the floor.  Emma asked if they could inspect the cots at the same time, so we will see on Friday whether or not we need to replace them.  If they don't have time to check out the cots, we are trying to pull them out on the 21st, at the city parking lot next to the Fire Station in Bonners.  Pat tells me there might be a few guys available to help us.  I will know more on Friday afternoon.

Footnote, subsequent to the meeting:

Right now, replacing the blankets is our prime importance, as we have none.   Before we left the room, Sue Wilson from Border Patrol gave us a personal check for $500.00, which is a huge boost.  I have sent an email to Coeur d'Alene Red Cross asking where to mail the money and can we get the first order for blankets placed.  Pat Warkentin has also said that he is asking the Fire Dept. on Monday night to see  if some funds can be released for the blanket cause.  We are really pleased with the response we received this morning.

Alanna Garrett, Emergency Program Coordinator, Creston Area, BC: (emailed, not present at meeting)

The latest information for us in the Creston Area is the March 1st snow pillow report.

The Kootenays (Moyie-Yahk and Red Fish Creek in the Nelson - Kootenay Lake area) are averaging 76% of the annual snow pack. Our current concerns are the potential for earlier grass fires and water supply issues.

Tony Rohrwasser, SBFD:

2 weekend hazmat classes completed: Feb 20, 21 / Feb 27, 28

Radio Training classes and Hazmat awareness class available - contact Tony if interested in scheduling

Vi.                   With no further business, Tony Rohrwasser adjourned the meeting at 0915.