Following the completion of a Hazard Analysis for the Town of Poland, it was determined that there are four "Significant" threats that could affect the community. These are:
Severe Winter Storms
Situated in the Northeastern corner of the country, the Town of Poland frequently sees its share of winter storms, including snowstorms, blizzards, and ice storms. Each year, the town is affected by a significant snowfall. Fortunately, the town is fairly well equipped to handle most of these storms. However, occasionally, a storm will create havoc that can stretch its resources to the limit. An example of this would be the Ice Storm of 1998, which knocked out power, and blocked roads with downed tree limbs and wires. It took the better part of two to three weeks in some areas to restore power, and clean up roads. This was the first event in which the Town's Emergency Operations Plan was put into effect.
Hazardous Materials Incidents
Hazardous Materials or HAZMAT is found in many communities; even in a small rural community like the Town of Poland. Every day, tons of hazardous chemicals pass through our borders via Railroad and Highway. The town also has several locations and businesses that also store chemicals for their use. Normally these chemicals do not pose a problem, as long as they remain in their containers. However, there have been a number of incidents that have taken place where there has been a chemical release. Because of this, and the potential to do significant damage to the environment and put lives at risk, Hazardous Materials has been listed as Significant Threat.
Severe Summer Storms
Severe Summer Storms cover primarily Severe Thunderstorms, which can produce large hail, damaging winds, and possibly tornadoes. Each year, the Town experiences 10-20 thunderstorms. Not all of these reach the severe level, but the potential is there for a Severe Storm to impact the town. As the Town has several Summer Camps which are in operation during the summer, with an estimated population of 2,000 campers, it is necessary to plan for these events in an effort to protect lives.
Disease Epidemic or Pandemic
Typically, most rural communities like the Town of Poland are not affected by widespread disease. However, it has happened in the past, and could possibly happen in the future. With the potential for the Avian Flu H5N1 Virus to become a Pandemic, it is necessary to plan for the possibility this disease may affect the Town and its inhabitants.