Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

 Location:  Town offices Date:  March 16, 2020
 Opened:    3:30 pm Adjourned:  5:30 pm

Select Board Members: Jay Jacobs, Kathy Scott, Andrea Hodson_________________________________

Attendees: Fire Chief Wayne Derosia, Police Chief Russell Driscoll, Emergency Management Director Jeff Cady, Health Officer David Belknap

The SB met with the Police and Fire Chiefs, Emergency Management Director and Health Officer to discuss coordinating emergency management efforts and communications related to the coronavirus with town employees and town residents. In response to the State of Emergency declared by the governor, the town will operate under the local emergency operations plan, at least in a partial manner, at this time.

The group discussed the chain of command and how tasks would be delegated based on arising need. The group discussed how this emergency differed from previous power outage and storm emergencies and thus protocol would be adapted accordingly.

Jeff Cady presented the command flow chart and solicited from all attendees the priority needs as viewed from their positions. These priorities were synthesized and categorized. All agreed on a preliminary plan for how to implement the immediate needs, including communications to employees and residents.  Mr. Cady reiterated that the Emergency Operations and Hazard Mitigation Plans are available on file in the Town Offices.

All discussed best methods of communication with all town residents, those who use the internet and those without access. Postings will be placed outside doors of town buildings, as well as at the post office, on the Town Offices/Fire Department roadside billboard and on the website. Other avenues to be explored.

The Fire Chief emphasized the need for emergency safety supplies and will work with the EMD to secure. All emphasized the priority to protect the safety of emergency personnel and critical facilities, and to protect all employees and town residents to the greatest extent possible.  Signs will be posted at the library, recycling center, and town offices.

The EMD also noted the benefit of maintaining a “lessons learned” throughout, just as past emergencies have helped inform current emergency plans and protocol, even if this situation is different.  The EMD will keep all informed of updates from the state and, as the evolving situation dictates, will call future meetings.

The group discussed the key content of a Covid-19 Information Flyer, including: the 2-1-1 State Hotline, whom to call in the event of an emergency and in the event of a non-emergency; the need to practice social distancing and to wash hands thoroughly and frequently, and to stay home if feeling at all sick.

The Police Chief touched on the Code Red communications program, somewhat like a reverse 9-1-1 in which individuals provide a method of contact to receive emergency updates from local government agencies. This is not yet available in Harrisville.

Officials discussed the possible closing of the library and will confer with library trustees.