LEPC gathers to talk COVID-19

Deanna Bonn
LEPC member/partners shared challenges, successes and lessons learned during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Butler County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) to review the response to pandemic COVID-19.

This was the first meeting the committee was able to hold since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The meeting also served as a quarterly meeting, with the election of Officers for 2021 and setting the meeting schedule for the upcoming year.

“One thing we like to do after a disaster is an after action review where we sit down and look at how we responded to the disaster.” said Keri Korthals, Director for Butler County Emergency Management.

The LEPC was able to gather in a safe and socially distant manner and had the unique opportunity to hold an after action review while the action is still happening.

“Because this disaster has been so protracted and going on for so long, we don’t want to wait too long to start having those conversations,” said Korthals.

The discussion included a review of the challenges, successes and lessons learned in the past seven months.

According to bucoks.com, 738 cases of COVID-19 have been round in the county — with 622 of those individuals now recovered from the disease. As of Friday, three were 116 actie cases logged — the El Dorado zip code has 31 of those active cases, the most of any zip code in the county. There have been 13,028 negative test results in Butler County. Three people have died in the county since the pandemic began in March.

Each county in Kansas is expected to have a LEPC, consisting of emergency response agencies, hospitals, industries, and community groups.

Some of an LEPC's primary responsibilities include:

Preparing and regularly reviewing their jurisdiction's Emergency Operations; plan, as well as coordinating training exercises for stakeholders on the Plan; collecting information on hazardous materials stored throughout the county; analyzing potential risks to the community; evaluating the adequacy of warning systems and evacuation procedures (as they relate to hazardous material spills / releases); and promoting the community's right-to-know law to the public and providing educational materials / resources to the community.

The Butler County LEPC is comprised from representatives from the following organizations: American Red Cross; Andover Fire and Rescue; Barton Solvents; Board of County Commissioners; Butler Community College; Butler County Community Development Butler County Conservation District; Butler County Emergency Management Butler County EMS; Butler County Landfill; Butler County GIS; Butler County Health Department; Butler County Sheriff's Office; Butler County School Superintendents / USD 394 City of Rose Hill / Rose Hill Police Dept; DaVita Andover Dialysis; El Dorado Correctional Facility / Dept of Corrections; El Dorado Fire Department; El Dorado Police Department; Everyday El Dorado; Flinthills Services; Holly Energy Partners; HollyFrontier - El Dorado Refinery Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Kansas Medical Center; K-State Research and Extension Mears Fertilizer; Phillips 66 Pipeline, LLC; Rausch Medical Clinics; Savage Services; South Central Mental Health; Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital Towanda Fire Department; and Tallgrass Energy Partners.

Butler County Times Gazette