PARKERSBURG - Wood County officials looked over the Civil Air Patrol facility at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport where the health department is storing emergency preparedness supplies.
The building has a number of roof leaks, which are allowing water damage to the interior, causing some mold on the walls and damaging some of the materials being stored inside.
"The Civil Air Patrol leases the facility from the (Mid-Ohio Valley Regional) airport and the Civil Air Patrol sub-leases part of the facility to the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department to store the threat/disaster preparedness supplies and materials," said commission President Blair Couch.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Wood County Commissioners Blair Couch, centerleft, and Wayne Dunn, center right, along with Tim Miller, left, and Dick Wittberg, far right, with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department toured the Civil Air Patrol facility at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport on Monday.
The Threat Preparedness Program activities are coordinated through the health department.
Tim Miller, with the health department, said the agency is paying about $1,000 annually for use of the space.
Couch, Miller, county Commissioner Wayne Dunn and health department Director Dick Wittberg toured the facility Monday.
In addition to some cots and other supplies that would be used in the event of a disaster for mass housing/care, there are also old doors, wall partitions and other materials that were removed from the former Public Debt building when the county renovated it into the new justice center. Officials said they wanted to save as many materials as possible for reuse, but there was no room in county facilities to keep them. There are also boxes of unassembled animal cages that would be used to evacuate and transport pets out of harm's way in the event of a disaster. Officials noted some of the boxes have received water damage due to roof leaks.
"The building is in an excellent position for accessibility and secure, and there is more than adequate space, we just need to get the roof repaired," Couch said.
"It appears there is no structural damage, the building is in pretty good shape expect for the leaks," Dunn said.
Officials also suggested the emergency supplies be stored in a more accessible manner.
"It might be difficult the way they are in there now to be able to get them out in a timely manner," Couch said.
"There is more than enough space up here also if we needed to use this as an emergency temporary housing site," Miller noted.
"It's definitely viable. We just need to get these leaks taken care of. We need to have some roofing experts come out and take a look and give us a proposal," Couch said.
The health department has received grant funding to purchase the materials and supplies through the Mass Care and Community Preparedness, West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, Homeland Security State Administrative Agency. In addition to the supplies, there are also trailers being stored for emergency uses, such as communications, hauling medical supplies and if needed there is a large animal rescue trailer that could be used to rescue large animals in a disaster situation.
The need for pet evacuation became a concern after Hurricane Katrina took the lives of so many animals.