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Categorized | News

City Hall Corner

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

Emergency plans

These past several months have brought Cedar Springs two major storm events, which cut electric power for multiple days each time and wreaked havoc on our trees.  In both February and July’s storms, Cedar Springs had 50+ mph winds and extreme temperatures, making the loss of electricity that much harder to bear and potentially dangerous for some people.  During the February storm, the City worked with the City Impact community center to setup an emergency shelter for those in need. Following the July storm, I saw many people working together to stay safe and clean up together. It was inspiring to see the City really pull together and for neighbors to be helping neighbors.  

During both storms, City Hall staff continued to work using emergency generator power but had no heat or cooling, bringing the temperature in City Hall into the 40’s and upper 80’s respectively.   In February, the fire department ran on generators that fire fighters brought from home and propane heating and the Library was forced to shut completely due to lack of power.  During the power outages, the DPW staff checked the generator powered water wells, water tower and wastewater treatment plant hourly to ensure that they all continued to operate normally.

The new fire station, planned for Spring of 2020, is intended to add a much needed public emergency shelter for use by the citizens of Cedar Springs.  The new fire station will have a built in generator and heating and cooling that can operate on generator power.  The new fire station will also have space available for overnight emergency shelter and should be able to provide hot showers and food to those most in need during an emergency.  The City is also planning to install a generator at the Library building, which should make the building able to operate and be available for additional emergency shelter during a loss of power and will be converting City Hall’s heating and cooling systems to operate on generator power, which they cannot currently do.

While the City is working to make public facilities better able to handle an emergency situation, you can put together an emergency plan and emergency kit for your family, friends and neighbors.  Your plans should address how to stay informed, where to shelter and evacuate if needed and how to communicate.  Your emergency kit should address the needs and wants of each member of your household, including pets.  Also, check in with your friends and neighbors to see how you can help each other in an emergency; take special care to help friends and neighbors with special needs and the elderly.  You can get help planning for an emergency at  www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.

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