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Town Manager Update - July 3, 2014
Happy Summer,

As promised this report will focus on a couple administrative projects we are involved with this summer.  We have recently completed an update to our Hazard Mitigation Plan.  This plan helps us identify potential hazards and ways we can lessen their impact or prevent the hazard completely.  Hazards can be natural like hurricanes or ice storms, or man-made, like terrorism or hazardous waste.  This plan works on two levels; first we identify every Town-owned property and review and develop hazard mitigation plans.  The plan also works on a community wide basis as well on how to identify potential community hazards and then develop potential mitigation plans.  The updated plan will be available on our website when it is completed.  To date we have identified flooding as the most typical hazard we encounter, with major winter storms a close second.  These plans are important because they help guide us with future capital appropriations.  If we determine that a hazard has the potential to severely affect our community, the plan will identify possible mitigations.  This plan is also helpful when we apply for grants.

We are also working on updating our Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).  This is the document that we use when a state of emergency has been declared.  Currently Police Chief Crate is our Emergency Operations Director (EOD).  The EOP identifies duties and tasks for our emergency personnel.  For instance I am the Public Information Officer, and am tasked with conducting press conferences if necessary, notifying the press of road closures, power outages, and keeping the public informed about our activities and possible relief efforts.  Many of our departments have responsibilities when we have an emergency.  Typically our Fire and Public Works crews are the boots on the ground and will perform much of the work, such as opening a road, or clearing brush.  Our Police and EMS crews are active making sure our most at risk populations are safe and secure.  Luckily we have not had a large number of emergencies during my tenure, but when we have, our personnel have performed in a professional and safe manner, and much of that comes from the detailed EOP we have developed.  

The Town recently was inspected by the NH Department of Labor.  Their inspection focused on our working environment and safety manuals and practices.  The inspector visited each of our facilities and identified areas for improvement.  The inspector also reviewed our Safety Manual and offered some suggestions for an update to the manual.  The Town is required to have and staff a Joint Loss Committee.  This committee is made up of equal parts management and labor and from each of our main service areas; Administration, Public Works, and Emergency Services.  This committee must have at least 4 meetings per year to review our safety practices, working environment and buildings and identify solutions for any deficiencies.  The inspector will be back again later this summer to review our changes.  

All three of these projects have a direct impact on our organization and community.  I am confident that the work we do in updating these plans and processes will help us operate when we are confronted with an emergency.  If you have any questions or concerns about our Hazard Mitigation or Emergency Operations Plan, feel free to contact my office at 632-5026.

Have a happy and safe July 4th.  

Steve Schneider

Town of Enfield, NH
23 Main Street, Enfield, NH 03748