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Alaska group puts together survival guide for oil spill victims

June 16, 2010
  • The guide, which is hundreds of pages long, is getting more and more popular by the day.(Rich Jordan/KTUU-DT)
The guide, which is hundreds of pages long, is getting more and more popular by the day.(Rich Jordan/KTUU-DT)

by Jason Lamb
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council (PWSRCAC) has put together a "how-to" guide based on 20 years of hindsight after the Exxon Valdez spill.

The council says their guide, which is hundreds of pages long, is getting more and more popular by the day.

 "There are many Alaskans who have not only personal experience but expertise, and I'm hopeful that I can connect that with the people in the gulf and the work of the commission," said Fran Ulmer.

Ulmer was appointed this week to the president's commission investigating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The PWSRCAC says they hate seeing what they call mistakes made in the Gulf regarding oil clean up.

"It is hard when you see the same mistakes being made over and over again.  We know there's a different way of doing things we know you can get the fishermen out there and give them skimmers to actually pick up the oil that's threatening their bayous and marshes, not just  put out booms," said Joe Banta of the PWSRCAC.

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The council is trying to get their guide, "Responses to Disasters," out to as many people as possible.

"I wish I really would have had that information in retrospect. It would have helped me move on or plan better or move the right resources… It truly is a how-to guide," said Banta.

Banta says the guide points out the unique problems faced, not by natural disasters. but technological ones.

"You have a responsible party, you have blame, you have people making money from the response, others who are not, and perhaps have had their businesses and lives destroyed," said Banta.

The council says, there are different community stresses that first need to be understood before you can understand how community members can move forward.

The guidebook helps communities by assembling many resources such as help for counselors and community groups, strategies for information outreach and unforeseen challenges like dealing with employee shortages when many of them might be helping with the cleanup effort.

The council says as the oil heads closer to Florida it's getting more calls from groups in that state almost every day.

Contact Jason Lamb at jlamb@ktuu.com.

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