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County continues emergency prep work

POSTED August 31, 2011 2:56 p.m.

As federal officials are proving again on the East Coast, you don’t wait until after the emergency to prepare — at least you don’t if you hope to have any success in dealing with the emergency.
And that is why local officials continue to work on emergency issues, hopefully for problems that never happen. But if they do happen, it’s best to be prepared.
According to Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller, local officials continued this summer to work they with the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.
That agency met with the local emergency officials, “to collect damage information for a possible Presidential Disaster Declaration for the May 24, 2011, storm. 
“According to state guidelines, there were not enough individual losses to be considered for a declaration for individual assistance. 
“However, there appeared to be enough public damages, in particular to electric transmission lines, that Barton County could be added to the state of Kansas declaration request,” Miller reported.
Preparation for future challenges in a local disaster is also continuing, with items that aren’t usually of concern at non-emergency times, Miller reported.
“With equipment received through the South Central Homeland Security Regional Council grant funds, the Emergency Management Office is working to produce identification badges for all county employees. 
“The photo identification badges will be provided to all County staff. 
“Identification badges for County employees and accountability badges for emergency responders can be produced with the system,” she explained.
Miller explained the county benefitted by being able to get equipment that it would have had to budget without the federal help. “The equipment was purchased with Homeland Security grant funds to provide all emergency responders in the 19-county South Central Kansas Homeland Security region, with accountability badges to be used during a disaster.” 
She noted the badges would be important in an emergency. “The identification allows responders not only access to a disaster scene, but can also be used to keep track of what responders are on scene and their response capabilities. “This allows responders to be used effectively during a disaster response and to allow for safety and disaster scene control.”  


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