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June 14, 2011

County Local Human Needs Committee to Meet June 29

Fulton - The Oswego County Local Human Needs Committee, an arm of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, will meet Wednesday, June 29, at 9:30 a.m. in the county building, 200 N. Second St., Fulton.

Formed in 1999 by a resolution of the Oswego County Legislature, the Local Human Needs Committee has created a plan to address "people needs" during disasters. "This group of people has created a network of human services to assist county residents during a disaster," said Patricia Egan, Director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office. "They are dedicated to making sure people can receive help in the event a widespread emergency or disaster affects our county."

Portions of the Local Human Needs Committee's plan were activated during the 2003 Ice Storm that knocked out power to portions of the county for up to a week. "Fortunately, there were no critical issues for people during the lake effect snow emergencies in 2004 and 2007," Egan said. "But the potential exists for a prolonged power outage or other emergency to create hardship for people, making it impossible for them to stay in their homes or difficult for them to get prescription medication or transportation to a shelter. The Local Human Needs Plan addresses those issues, putting processes in place to coordinate services."

The meeting on June 29 will focus on updates to the Local Human Needs Committee Annex to the Oswego County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, as well as a discussion on family assistance centers and the Red Cross's Citizens Preparedness Program. Local faith-based groups have been invited to join the cadre of volunteers. The committee is comprised of more than 50 volunteers, representing 21 human service agencies and county departments. Six subcommittees carry out the mission of the Local Human Needs Committee: Food and Shelter, Health, Transportation and Communications, Volunteers, Animals in Disaster, and Disaster Mental Health.

Volunteers would be trained in the Incident Management System as well as in the Local Human Needs Plan. Exercises are held periodically to test the plan and give volunteers a chance to practice their skills.

Anyone interested may attend the June 29 meeting. People may also call the Emergency Management Office at 591-9150 or e-mail .

More information on the Local Human Needs Committee is available on the Emergency Management page on the Oswego County website, oswegocounty.com/emo. The office is located at 200 N. Second Street (Route 481) in Fulton, across from Mimi's Restaurant.

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