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Nazareth Resident: Pre-Hurricane Sandy information was Lacking

A Nazareth resident told Council that pre-Sandy information available to borough residents was inadequate, lacking details about evacuations and assistance for residents without power.

At least one Nazareth resident feels there was a lack of pre-Hurricane Sandy information tailored to borough residents.

”Nothing about what we should do, where we should go,” said Becky Butz during Nazareth Borough Council’s workshop Thursday night.

Borough secretary/treasurer Paul Kokolus said the mayor’s directive about Sandy was placed on the borough’s website the day before the storm pounded the Lehigh Valley. Vigilance Hose Co. No. 1 also issued a statement, which was posted on its Facebook page and on Nazareth Patch.

Do you agree with Butz? Tell us in the comments section below.

Butz, however, said the pre-Sandy information available to borough residents was inadequate, lacking details about evacuations and assistance for residents without power. She said she was “literally sweating bullets” because of her sister, who is disabled and lives in the nearby Cherry Hill section of Bushkill Township.

She said she called Bushkill fire officials twice to ask about evacuation plans. Both times, she said, the answer was “I don’t know.”

”I hit dead ends wherever I went,” Butz said, telling Council later, “I don’t want to hear from somebody ‘I don’t know.’”

It turns out her sister’s home did not lose power but Butz’s borough home did and also was damaged.

”I’m the one who had the tree fall on her house. I’m the one who had the disaster here,” she said.

She suggested that Council place information about emergencies in the borough’s newsletter.

Council President Dan Chiavaroli said he believes the borough firehouse set up some cots for residents in case they had to leave their homes. He said he would take Butz’s complaints to the borough’s emergency management official.

Other Council members sounded the theme that people must learn to take care of themselves.

Mayor Fred Daugherty Jr. talked of a lesson he took from Sandy. “What’s scary is just how dependent we are on technology. We don’t know how to fend for ourselves.”

Councilwoman Cynthia Werner echoed that theme. “What we need now is to know how to take care of ourselves -- not rely on someone else.”

Becky Butz December 04, 2012 at 05:31 PM
It might be important to note that not all people have comupters. And I agree that planning ahead is important. A. Carter - What exactly did you google? Where were these shelters? I believe the Red Cross didn't announce the shelter address in Bethlehem until Tuesday. I was told that the generators at the Nazareth Fire Department were only there to open and close the doors to let the fire trucks and ems vehicles out in case of emergencies. Ben - would you define this "long standing policy" with the fire departments about servings as shelters? And how the residents were to know about the policy? Ask some people - there were a variety of ideas - the school, a church, and maybe the fire department. Don't you think it would be nice if we were all on the same page?? I'm just asking for this information to be distributed to ALL the residents, not just those "in the know" or those you have computers. It's called planning ahead...........
Carl Strye December 04, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Unfortunately, it does take a disaster to get results and ask yourself if you or we are prepared. I have asked for a debriefing meeting with, the Mayor, Bob, from the Hiway department, Mike Rinker, from Emergency management, Chief Trachta, Ambulance personell and certain fire company personell. We need to go over what happened and ask ourselves "what if?" However, the citizens of the Borough should realize that if something major does happen, we will prepared and the immediate area will be notified of where to go and what to do. Every situation is different and needs to be handled as it unfolds. We have been fortunate in the past, however how this weather is now being predicted, we could be starting a trend that no one wants to see. Myself or the Mayor will report back to council what we discussed. This is a priority and concern with me also, so I will push for answers and the necessary information you are seeking.
Ben Miller December 04, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Thank you, Carl, for this and for all that you do in the interest of Nazareth. The community is lucky to have you.
rick troxell December 05, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Carl is absolutely right. It is time for those who protected and helped us through the storm to debrief. The police,volunteer firemen and women,EMT's and road depts did an outstanding job in our communities and working together helped many in need during the height of the storm.and the days that followed. Finally someone (Carl ) has proposed a debriefing of those personnel. I personally was very impressed by their actions. Men from the Vigilance helped check on my neighbor and kept roads open or in some cases closed because of hazards during the storm. Neighbors checked on neighbors. We are lucky to have the committment we have in this area from both volunteer and paid public employees in such adverse conditions.This was surely an eye opener and You can bet alot was learned and when shared by those that protected us a plan will be formulated because of their commitment to us,their neighbors.
rick troxell December 09, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Just do one thing.. keep council out of it or all you may get is NO COMMENT or an evacuation plan for the local bars when the LCB is in town:-).

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