Local Emergency Planning Committee

Planning for Emergency through Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery

Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.-Maragret Mead

How the LEPC Began

The idea that the more informed the community is, the better prepared they will be to cope with potential hazardous material problems led to the passage of the SARA Title III Community Right-To-Know Act.

Under this federal law, each state was required to set up a State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) composed of persons with the technical expertise in the emergency response field. They established emergency planning districts and over saw the formation of Local EMergency Planning Committees (LEPCs)

By an act of Idaho legislature, the name of the State Emergency Response Commission was changed to Idaho Bureau of Hazardous Materials (BHM), effective July 1, 1997.

Kootenai County expanded its LEPC to include all hazards in order to provide more comprehensive and useful information to the residents.

Why All Hazard? Many of the very features that make North Idaho a desirable place to live, such as rugged terrain and secluded homesteads, can lead to potentially serious problems. Identifying those issues and assisting residents with preparedness planning helps reduce the strain on local resources.  Being able to focus those resources, whether manpower, equipment, supplies, or tax dollars exactly where they are needed provides the most efficient and economical service.

Who Belongs

Membership in the Kootenai County LEPC is a matter of choice, concern, and commitment. The common element among members is the desire to promote public safety through personal involvement in the community. Members include:
  • Broadcast and media
  • Business and industry
  • Community groups
  • Concerned citiens
  • Education
  • Elected and appointed officials
  • Emergency services
  • Fire and EMS
  • Government agencies
  • Health and hospital
  • Law enforcement
  • Local environmental agencies
  • Transportation agencies
  • Tribe
  • Utility companies

Goals      

To ensure public safety, the Kootenai County Local Emergency Planning Committee will:

  • Foster public awareness of any hazard; encourage public involvement in mitigation and emergency planning by publicizing committee activities; and welcome community input.
  • Assist with the updates of the Kootenai County Emergency Operations Plan.
  • Assist local responders as requested with emergency and hazard planning.
  • Respond to inquiries according to Community Right-To-Know regulations.
  • Provide information, training and/or workshops for SARA Title III compliance within the county.
  • Assist industry in complying with federal and state regulations through information and planning.
  • Promote National Incident Management System (NIMS) implementation and compliance.

Accomplishments of the Kootenai County LEPC

  • KC Emergency Operations Plan
  • All Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • FireSmartTM
  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
  • Hazardous Materials Flow Survey
  • Multi-Hazard Mitigation Task Force
  • Wildland Urban Interface Fire Mitigation Task Force
  • Homeland Security Task Force
  • Water Quality Task Force
  • Evacuation Plan Task Force
  • Risk Analysis Task Force
  • SARA Title III Community Right-To-Know Information
  • Family Preparedness Committee
  • Storm Ready Community