TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3
EMERGENCY COORDINATOR WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 21.21 DATE: May 23, 2021
SUBJECT: DISASTER STRIKES ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.
That will never happen here! Why should we train for something that will never strike here! Boy, I'm glad we don't have to worry about that type of disaster hitting our area! These are just a few statements that have actually been heard in our area over the past few years.
The threat has always been present. Chemical plants are not exempt from problems turning into disasters. As we saw with the Shell disaster in 1994. This is the reason that emergency response agencies train so much for chemical plant disasters. This is a constant concern with fire and emergency officials on both sides of the Ohio River.
A lot of people believe the disaster that stuck Belpre on Friday the 27th of May 1994, could have been devastating to Parkersburg and Wood County. If the tank which exploded would have contained a dangerous chemical, the people of South Parkersburg and southern Wood County could have been in grave danger. What if?, is a question we must ask ourselves on a daily basis, so we might train and be prepared for such a situation. The heart of our community could be in danger next time. This's why we must train to perform our function, as communicators, during any disaster, whether it be natural such as flood, wind, hail, fire, or manmade such as chemical, or bomb.
We can think of the devastation which was caused by flooding a few years ago down river of Parkersburg. If all that rain would have fallen north of us, we would have been the victims. How about next time? Look at all of the devastation in the West from forest fires. We have storm season coming, anything can happen.
The next disasters may be bigger than the last ones, It can always be worse. Let's do our best to be prepared for whatever it may be.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV