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Sade Bruce (right), a graduate public administration fellow at the Institute for Public Administration, guides event attendees through the technical aspects of registering for the City of Lewes' CodeRED and Sussex County's Smart911 systems. Photo by Danielle Swallow.
Through a partnership between the School of Public Policy and Administration's Institute for Public Administration (IPA) and the Sustainable Coastal Communities Initiative, Delaware's Cape Region residents had the opportunity to learn about area disaster relief and emergency planning initiatives.
IPA staff members Julia OHanlon and Nicole Minni helped plan and facilitate the event. Julia facilitated a participant polling session during the event related to emergency planning and her work on aging friendly communities. Several undergraduate and graduate students provided technical assistance to individuals interested in signing up for the City of Lewes CodeRED and/or Sussex Countys Smart911 systems. The event was highlighted in the October 15, 2018 edition of the Cape Gazette featured below.
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IPA Policy Scientist Julia O'Hanlon (left) conducted a live poll of participants to gauge the emergency readiness of event attendees. Danielle Swallow (right), a coastal hazard specialist with Delaware Sea Grant, presented on the importance of emergency planning for older adults and people with disabilities especially. Photo by Nick Roth/Cape Gazette.
may be the luckiest state on the Eastern Seaboard. For the last 100
years, the lowest-lying state in the country has been spared a direct
hit by a hurricane. But luck will run out one day, and state and local
officials want the Cape Regions residents to be ready.
built a life for yourself here, said Danielle Swallow, a coastal hazard
specialist with Delaware Sea Grant. Youve worked really hard to get
into the place you are today, living in a community like Lewes. Now
protect the life youve built.
Swallow was one of several
presenters at a Sept. 21 workshop about emergency planning for older
adults and people with disabilities. Many of the tips and information
presented apply to all area residents.
Lewes Mayor Ted Becker said
there are a few simple steps to prepare. Lewes residents can sign up
for CodeRED, an emergency notification system to alert property owners
and residents of information you need to know in the event of local
emergencies or disruptions in service. CodeRED is also available in
Milton. All Sussex County residents can sign up for Smart911, a
supplemental data service that allows you to create a safety profile
that can be seen by emergency responders when you call 911. All
information could be vital in the case of an emergency.
said its important to have a emergency plan in case disaster strikes
suddenly. That often involves a plan for pets, Becker said.
animals are a big part of being prepared for an emergency, he said.
Animals are a very big part of our lives, especially those of us who
Becker said many people affected by Hurricane
Florence in September opted to stay because they didnt want to leave
their pets. Others decided to leave them behind. Hundreds of pets were
rescued in the Carolinas, including several dozen that were transported
The state hazard mitigation plans top two potential
hazards are coastal flooding and storms, both tropical storms and
noreasters. For those who live along the coast, the people most likely
affected by coastal storms, Swallow said, its extremely important to be
Sometimes you cant avoid the disruption, like a
hurricane, she said, but being prepared can make it manageable and speed
up the time to recover.
Tips include having an emergency kit,
setting up a safety plan to contact loved ones, establishing a plan for
pets and protecting valuables.
For residents in flood-prone areas, she said, it is very important to have flood insurance.
I know it can be costly, but its an important safety net, Swallow said.
Hurricane Harvey in Houston, she said the people who had federal flood
insurance received an average of $113,000, while those who did not
received just $4,000 on average.
Consider 1 inch of water in
your house can cause $25,000 worth of damage, she said. Its important
to plan ahead and have insurance.
Chatham Marsch, a Lewes police
officer and Rehoboth firefighter, urged people to heed the warnings of
emergency officials and evacuate when asked. Officials typically give
48- to 72-hour notice of evacuation, he said.
We ask you to
leave, but we cant make you, he said. Dont get offended when I ask
for your nearest relative and a phone number.
director of Sussex County Emergency Operations Center for the last 21
years, said the county has more than 40 potential shelter locations, typically high schools. However, he said, people want to avoid going to shelters.
you have the ability and youve got the time, you should have a plan in
place, he said. Go to friends or family outside the area. Go to a
hotel. You dont want to wait until the last minute and think youre
going to get out on the road and out of harms way because I guarantee
you wont be the only one out there.
Originally featured in the Cape Gazette. Cape Gazette article by Nick Roth.
University of Delawares Institute for Public Administration (IPA) addresses
the policy, planning, and management needs of its partners through the
integration of applied research, professional development, and the education of