Clarke County EMA plans for the future

By BRITTNEY MANGUM REPORTER,

Clarke County Emergency Director Eddie Ivy has begun the process of applying for multiple grants that will benefit the community if they are approved.

Although there is no guarantee that all the grants will be approved, Ivy and his team have been working hard to collect data and provide all the evidence required to show that the community has a need and that what they are asking for will be beneficial to the community.

The process will take a little time, and the grants may be approved at different times, but if Ivy is able to obtain the grants he is applying for, he intends to use them to help Clarke County be stronger when disasters occur.

“The programs are set up to lessen the effects of a disaster and make our community more resilient—more able to survive the next event,” said Ivy.

A mitigation plan has to be in effect in order to apply for the different grants, and he has three main things that he has prioritized to use the grant money for.

One priority that is being discussed is the need for warning sirens around the county.

“Maybe someone is outside working or enjoying nature. They may not be from around here. They may not have a weather radio or an app on their phone to give them an update on the weather, or they may not be paying attention to the weather,” explains Ivy. “It’s the people doing outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, camping, summer ball, football on Friday nights, and other things where you’re not focused on the weather because you’re having so much fun that we’re concerned with. This is designed to get your attention and alert you that there is something going on with the weather.”

If a grant for a warning siren is approved, Ivy intends to strategically place it where it can reach the most people and be a greater benefit to the community.

There are also several priorities for grants that would help with the continuity of the government in the event of a disaster.

“One of our priorities has been generators for critical facilities,” stated Mr. Ivy.

By obtaining different generators, it would help keep the government running so that it can offer assistance to anyone affected by the disaster, keep communications open so that help can be reached and damages assessed, and even help keep water and sewage running to meet the needs of the citizens.

The third priority that Mr. Ivy has stated deals with storms shelters to help with continuing the government after a storm.

“The purpose of them is to protect government employees and first responders and allow the government to continue after a storm passes through,” explains Mr. Ivy. “We could have people who are already ready to respond immediately after a storm since they will already be where the equipment they will need is.”

It is obvious that Ivy has great ideas that will benefit the communities in Clarke County and help make the county more prepared for different disasters. He is working hard to try and obtain the grants and money needed to make his great ideas a reality for the county.