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Bravo Zulu when conveyed by flaghoist, morse code, or voice comms at the end of a mission means Well Done. It was introduced between allied forces in World War II.

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How Lincoln County EMA Stays Storm Ready with D4H

Robin was recently joined by Maury Prentiss and Emily Huber, Director and Deputy Director of Lincoln County EMA, they discussed the benefits of D4H's emergency management software in weathering Maine's frequent storms and events.

About Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency

Lincoln County is situated on the coast of Maine in the United States, spanning across coastal and inland terrain. The county experiences many weather-related incidents, including, wind, rain, storms, and hurricanes, along with other events. The Lincoln County EMA team frequently confronts Nor'easters during winter, named for the prevailing northeast winds along the coastal areas. These formidable winter storms boast strong winds and often bring heavy snowfall, creating blizzard conditions. Along the coast, they may also usher in a mix of rain and wind, while inland areas contend with substantial snowfall.

Lincoln County EMA Coastal

Lincoln County EMA employs two full-time emergency managers, Maury and Emily, alongside a part-time staff member. Additionally, each town in Lincoln County, Maine has local emergency managers composed of volunteers. The local emergency managers are tasked with maintaining situational awareness by being on-site, documenting incidents as they unfold, and entering this data into D4H's incident management system for the Lincoln County EMA team. The local emergency managers additionally provide documentation to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) as incidents unfold. Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency serves as the liaison between local towns and the state.

Maury and Emily Emergency Managers Lincoln County

How climate change is impacting Lincoln County EMA

In recent months, certain parts of Maine have endured significant devastation to their locales due to a surge in weather-related incidents. Lincoln County EMA is reporting an increase in incidents related to climate change, specifically, along the coast. As coastal properties sustain increasing damage, the county witnesses rising wave heights, Maine has a lot of fishing towns, with properties built on piers, facing the increasing climate challenges. Lincoln County experienced severe storms this past winter, with winds ripping properties off of the pier.

Lincoln County damage to coastal property

The Lincoln County team operates from their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) strategically positioned to swiftly respond to resource needs as they arise. Local emergency managers scattered across the county have the capability to contact the team at the center and request assistance during any incident. In cases of severe incidents, Lincoln County EMA will actively collaborate with the Coast Guard and other local authorities to manage and coordinate relief efforts.

Storm damage

Lincoln County EMA and D4H

Lincoln County EMA became users of D4H in 2017, starting out with Incident Management to help speed up the process of opening roads after experiencing a severe wind storm that brought down trees and cables knocking out power and closing roads for a long period of time. Since then they progressed adding D4H Personnel & Training, Incident Reporting, and Equipment Management, to assist them in all of their needs.

"We use D4H for everything!"

— Maury Prentiss Director Lincoln County EMA

The Lincoln County EMA has a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) that includes Search and Rescue and Ham Radio operations. Each team member oversees activities in their designated area, manages personnel for accountability, tracks expenses, and utilizes mapping features to mark essential data points.

The emergency management team uses D4H to maintain an up-to-date list of telephone numbers, ensuring that the County Communication Center 911 dispatchers can access accurate contact information during an incident.

"With D4H we have all of this stuff at our fingertips while we are out responding to the situations on the ground."

— Maury Prentiss Director Lincoln County EMA

The team uses D4H for a wide range of incidents, including weather-related events, school bomb threats, and cyber attacks. With only two full-time employees at the Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency, D4H significantly supports their efforts.

"Using D4H is like having another four or five employees during a storm."

— Maury Prentiss Director Lincoln County EMA
Tree down after storm

The team uses D4H for incident preparedness by presetting many of their resources. During storms, local towns can directly make requests through D4H, eliminating the need to call or text the team and wait for a response. One of the most critical aspects of storm response for Lincoln County is that their utility company in Maine has access to D4H. This access provides immediate visibility into downed lines and other threats, enabling the utility company to swiftly address and mitigate these issues.

"Instead of receiving a phone call for every single line thats down in Lincoln County, they can use D4H as one system to see everything going on at once."

— Emily Huber Deputy Director of Lincoln County EMA

Managing storm events with D4H

One of the most recent events in Lincoln County was a storm featuring rain, wind, and snow simultaneously. The team dubbed it 'A Good Old Maine Mess' due to the experiencing all three weather conditions in a single event.

The team invited 76 individuals to use D4H for enhanced visibility of their status boards during the incident, including fire personnel, local emergency managers, the utility company, and EMS providers. Using D4H Incident Management, the local electrical company were able to mark the roads they had secured following the storm's damage. The team utilizes D4H's color coding on their status boards, employing different colors to signify various road updates such as closed, open, etc.

Storm damage assessment

During emergencies the team finds features useful such as the role chart particularly useful, allowing everyone to quickly identify who is responsible for each task.

Their Communication Center makes use of the weather feature.

"Our Communication Center really really likes the weather piece where they can get quick situational awareness of what's going on."

— Maury Prentiss Director Lincoln County EMA
Lincoln County EMA vehicle and fire truck
"The D4H platform is acting as our secretary, giving situational awareness. Everyone gets information in real time, its been a true asset to us."

— Maury Prentiss Director Lincoln County EMA

Watch the full interview on Youtube: Watch Now

Listen to the full interview on Spotify: Listen Now


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