Salem Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management David Cody recently completed one of the highest level hurricane preparedness training and certifications provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center.
The week-long course, “Hurricane Preparedness for Decision Makers,” is run annually by NOAA’s National Weather Service and the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency on the campus of Florida International University.
The course provides advanced training in hurricane planning and mitigation operations, including guidance on how emergency managers can best pull together information from each other in a major storm event, safeguarding larger regions and ensuring open communication and interoperability during an emergency. Each year between 25 and 30 state and local officials from each of three regions of the country – the Gulf, Southeast, and Northeast – are selected to participate in the training.
In addition to his position as Fire Chief and Emergency Management director in Salem, Chief Cody is the Vice Chair for Fire Services for the Northeast Homeland Security Regional Advisory Council. Chief Cody coordinates emergency planning and response for the City of Salem and most recently has been directing a working group reviewing the City’s emergency evacuation and hurricane flood zone maps and routes and is developing a continuity of local government services strategic plan. He was instrumental in planning and leading a major emergency response drill conducted in 2013 in conjunction with the MBTA in the commuter rail tunnel underneath downtown Salem and serves as the incident commander for the City in most emergency situations.
“I want to congratulate Chief Cody on completing this rigorous training program,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “Above and beyond all of the great work he does leading our Fire Department, the people of Salem are very fortunate to have someone as capable as Chief Cody overseeing our emergency preparedness and management operations.”
"The NHC is an impressive facility with an even more impressive faculty,” said Chief Cody, following the training. “The course is taught by Hurricane Specialists, Meteorologists, and Scientists who, together, provide this nation and many others with the latest information on hurricanes. I hope the tools and training I received from the NHC will be an important asset that can help Salem and our region better prepare for and respond to hurricane incidents in the future."
The NHC supports and distributes an impressive array of tools and resources, including Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) maps. SLOSH maps help Emergency Managers decide when and where to evacuate their people by employing a set of physic equations applied to a specific locale's shoreline. Hurrivac, another NHC resource, is a computer forecasting program that better prepares the emergency response community to deal with issues such as wind speed, probabilities, track, and intensity of developed hurricanes.
Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and ends November 30th. More information on NHC and on hurricanes is online atwww.nhc.noaa.gov/