Get educated on disaster preparedness

It’s that time of year — time to prepare in case of a natural disaster, and the Ocean View Police Department wants the public to be educated on what could happen if a hurricane strikes the area.

In any state, the local authorities and local government are responsible for having their own emergency operations plans, said Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin. The county emergency operations center and state agencies act as backup to the town, if needed.

“We rely on the county and state to provide assistance — if we need manpower or specific equipment,” said McLaughlin. “Also, part of what we’re doing is spreading the word and educating people so they know what to do.”

Ocean View employs eight police officers, but they can only do so much. The volunteer members of the Citizens Auxiliary Patrol (CAP) fill in when the officers need rest, said McLaughlin.

Part of the department’s goal to educate residents will be fulfilled during a presentation on Thursday, Sept. 25, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Millville Fire Hall. Dr. Wendy Carey, a coastal hazards specialist for Delaware Sea Grant’s Marine Advisory Service, will talk to residents about what could happen in the area in the event of a weather-related emergency.

“When people realize what kind of impact even a Category 1 storm could have here — they might think of a plan for their household and when they need to evacuate,” said McLaughlin. “These storms are very dangerous. We want people to respect the storms and respect what authorities recommend.”

McLaughlin tells residents to be prepared by stocking their homes with extra gallons of water, medications for their family and pets, rain gear and non-perishable food.

For more information on what to do in an emergency, visit the Ocean View Police Department Web site at or attend Carey’s presentation from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25, at the Millville Fire Hall.