The city and the borough are looking into creating a position to help the region prepare for emergencies

Mitch Borden/KMXT

The Kodiak Archipelago could face all sorts of emergencies and natural disasters at any time, which is why the City of Kodiak and the Kodiak Island Borough are discussing hiring an Emergency Management Specialist. At a joint work session, the Kodiak City Council and the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly looked at how the potential position would be funded and what its role in the region would be.

The specialist could possibly pursue grants, train personnel, and help plan disaster responses. The City of Kodiak’s fire chief Jim Mullican told the council and assembly keeping up to date with risks facing the region is a full-time job because there’s a lot to look out for.

“We talk about earthquakes, throw in a tsunami. One of the big [things] right now is cybersecurity. What happens when a ransomware comes in and locks up and takes away all of your files that you can’t operate your government with? What happens when the SCADA systems to KEA get compromised and they shut down the power to the island for the next six months and they can’t get it back up. These are all items we’re concerned with.”

Mullican said creating the position would help Kodiak communities be more resilient to threats.

Both the assembly and the council directed staff to look into what the scope of the position would be and how much it would cost. The council and assembly agreed to continue talking about the emergency management specialist position at their next joint work session in May.

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