« Continuity of Operations Planning

Alaskan town wants new road for better continuity of operations plan

A current continuity of operations plan is necessary for any town, ensuring that residents can safely evacuate.
A current continuity of operations plan is necessary for any town, ensuring that residents can safely evacuate.

Regardless of a city or town's size, a current continuity of operations plan can help keep residents safe during an emergency. Severe weather and other events might force officials to call for an evacuation. Without the right training, emergency responders could have difficulty assisting individuals. Additionally, residents can cause undue harm to themselves or others if they do not know what to do.

One Alaskan town is looking to curb the possibility of an emergency situation becoming worse. Kivalina is a coastal community that has been affected by shoreline erosion and severe storms. According to the Alaska Dispatch, state officials are working toward creating better town evacuation routes, one of which includes building a new road.

During many severe storms, residents are asked to move to the community's school. More updated continuity of operations planning would call for a new school being built on even higher ground. With the proposed location eight miles from the town, a new road to the area would need to be built.

The news source explained that three emergency situations have occurred in the past five years, one of which caused Kivalina residents to be completely evacuated from the town.

Governor Sean Parnell explained during a March press conference that a new evacuation route needs to be a top priority. He also said that he had submitted a $2.5 million capital budget amendment to develop an evacuation and access road for the town.

"Kivalina's evacuation route is a matter of life and safety," Parnell told the news source. "The road would help residents escape in times of severe weather and will also allow the village to grow inland, allowing future generations to thrive without the threat of erosion."