Mesa County adopts emergency operations plan

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) If disaster were to strike in our own backyards, the county has a plan to respond.

"Our response community manages incidents and emergencies everyday, many times a day," said Andrew Martsolf, Mesa County emergency manager. "This plan is designed for the exceptional emergency that uses many resources from many agencies and requires extensive coordination."

Mesa County Commissioners adopted a 57-page emergency operations plan Monday.

The plan lays out exactly which county agencies would respond in an emergency and what they would do through 15 different support functions ranging from evacuation and food supplies to road and wildlife maintenance.

"We have good coordination, so we're not trying to duplicate efforts and have all of our bases covered," Palisade Fire Department Chief Richard Rupp said.

When an emergency becomes too big for a single municipality to handle, the plan goes into action.

The last time the plan was used was in the Pine Ridge fire of 2012.

"Communication is the biggest, I think great biggest problem," Rupp said. "It can either make it break it in a second."

The plan is nearly identical to the one that was adopted three years ago, but now it will be reviewed every two years to keep it as up to date as possible.

"We saw the large scale floods on the Front Range, so we know that these plans are used in counties, so we want to make sure that we review these more frequently," Martsolf said.

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