scheduled for dialysis today, can you help us get them in and out?'" Epp said. "This is a lesson we've learned in prior blizzards -- that we need to have both in our local EOCs and the state some ready resources. And what happened is that after the last blizzard, we did a good job of organizing that, but time went by and it wasn't used. Then the next blizzard hits six years later, and the lists are out of date and the people who put them together are no longer in their positions."

In addition to keeping resource lists updated, Epp noted that maintaining current phone lists for critical personnel is also essential. The division overcame that obstacle, but made a note to correct it.

The state Division of Emergency Management has put a lot of personnel through Incident Command System and National Incident Management System training in the last few years, both of which emphasize a rigid chain of command. But Epp said circumstances sometimes demand a break from protocol. For instance, he recommends that emergency personnel be proactive in contacting their superiors if it seems they've been overlooked

"Ask them if they've forgotten, because sometimes they did," he said. "There's hesitancy on people's parts sometimes to take the initiative to communicate because they've been taught a protocol that says you shouldn't gum up the channels with unnecessary communication. But if you're the guy who should be called because of something, and it's obvious to you that they need to and they haven't called, get on the phone."

Jessica Jones  |  Editor