A group of volunteers in Drum Point came together a number of years ago to address concerns about the ability of the community to react during an emergency.
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The Drum Point Property Owners’ Association (DPPOA) is laying a firm foundation for community-based emergency preparedness. From the tornado, which hit La Plata a number of years ago to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, our lessons are obvious; as a community of some 1000
families, surrounded by the Bay and the Patuxent River, we can anticipate many types of disasters. Experience shows that advance preparation truly helps the community, and every community faces catastrophic events, whether they are caused by nature or are man-made. The DPPOA Board of Directors adopted an Emergency Response Plan and established the DPPOA Community Emergency Service Center (CESC), which is co-located with the DPPOA Office at the corner of Lake Drive and Barreda Boulevard. It is a focal point for community damage assessment and emergency needs, for communication with Calvert County and outside first responders, the Prince Frederick Emergency Operations Center, the utility companies, and various DPPOA contractors that provide emergency assistance in clearing roads. It is the control point for deploying volunteers to assist the County’s first responders in emergency relief efforts.
Coordination and communication under disaster circumstances are vital to rescue and relief efforts. To this end, the Service Center has a functioning Citizen’s Band (CB) radio net deployed within the DPPOA Community and a short wave radio link to the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) located in the County’s Emergency Operations Center. A fully automated generator was installed at the DPPOA office in 2009 in order to assure power is available during the power outages that sometimes occur with severe winter and summer storms. First Aid equipment and supplies, mobile radios, and damage response forms are stocked within the Center. Ultimately, our goal is to encourage and support each DPPOA household to develop a 72-hour (shelter-in-place) self-sufficiency plan, as well as an evacuation kit and plan. We will increase awareness of how each community resident can prepare for a variety of disasters. Information on disaster preparedness is available in the DPPOA office. As a community, we will organize our resources for mutual support to prepare for and mitigate the impact of disasters.