LINCOLN, Maine — With fears of a swine flu pandemic abounding and some isolated cases reported in Maine, town Welfare Director Gilberte Mayo can’t think of a better time to acquaint residents with the town’s new emergency preparedness guide and mass casualty plans, she said Sunday.
Town officials will hold a forum at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, at Ballard Hill Community Center, where they, health and Penobscot County Emergency Management Agency officials will discuss plans for handling all sorts of emergencies and hand out the guide, which features advice residents can use in such an event. Residents are invited.
“I would not hope to have some epidemic, but the fact that [the state might be facing one] goes to show that this guide has all kinds of information that is important, particularly with this flu epidemic,” Mayo said Sunday.
Lincoln officials have formulated a plan with Penobscot Valley Hospital of Lincoln and Health Access Network, the region’s largest health care providers, in the event flu cases are reported in town, Mayo said. As far as she knows, none has been.
The town’s emergency preparedness director, Fire Chief Phil Dawson, is being updated daily on this outbreak, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said Friday. If the H1N1 virus is identified, appropriate steps will be taken to isolate patients, she said.
If an outbreak occurs in town, Goodwin would consider closing the town’s nonessential public buildings, such as the library, town office and transfer station, to contain the spread of the illness, she said.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention had found seven cases of swine flu reported statewide as of Sunday, officials from the governor’s office said. That includes two adults in Kennebec County, three adults and one youth in York County, and one youth in Penobscot County. All are recovering. The exact loca-tion of the Penobscot County case was not disclosed.
At 43 pages, the town’s emergency preparedness guide offers advice on handling all sorts of disasters, including floods, winter storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, power outages and pandemics, Mayo said. A copy of the guide is available at lincolnmaine.org, the town’s Web site.
“I would hope that people would come [to the forum] to get a copy of it, and maybe read it and come prepared with questions,” she said.
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WHO: Town of Lincoln and Penobscot County Emergency Management Agency.
WHAT: Emergency preparedness forum.
WHERE: Ballard Hill Community Center, Lincoln.
WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 6.
WHY: To acquaint residents with the town’s emergency preparedness guide and emergency plans.