Problem: The city of Bisbee faced an unusually active monsoon season and needed a disaster preparedness plan
Solution: RCAC conducted a vulnerability assessment and emergency response planning so that Bisbee was prepared when Tropical Storm Odile hit in
The city of Bisbee is prone to flood, fire and drought. In 2013, the town participated in RCAC’s Leadership Training program. During the training, RCAC nominated Bisbee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Readiness for Small Utilities pilot project, which helps utilities address climate change impacts. RCAC provided assistance to complete the Vulnerability Assessment and Emergency Response Plan for Bisbee’s wastewater facility, which was required to qualify for the pilot project. The EPA selected Bisbee as one of only three participants nationwide.
Bisbee’s participation in the EPA project resulted in a coordinated regional plan involving first responders, hospitals, public utilities and the border patrol. The plan was in place when Tropical Storm Odile struck and inflicted major damage to the city’s infrastructure. Bisbee’s Public Works department coordinated fire, police and all other responders during the event and mitigated damage afterward.
“Bisbee got battered by the storm and we were ready, thanks to the extreme weather emergency planning over the past two years with RCAC and the EPA,” said Thomas Klimek, city engineer and Public Works director.