• 86°

Decatur EMA meets to discuss Pre-Hazard Mitigation Plan for 2022

The Decatur County Emergency Management Agency held a public meeting at the Decatur Emergency Operations Center Thursday morning. The meeting was held in regards to updating the Decatur County Pre-Hazard Mitigation Plan, with members from various law enforcement agencies and essential institutions from around the county attending. The plan itself requires counties to examine and identify areas and resources necessary for hazard mitigation during disasters. Counties are required to utilize these plans by FEMA for federal funding pertaining to disasters.

“The plan has to be updated every five years,” E-911 Director Tonya Griffin stated. “Every jurisdiction has to participate. So our plan includes Brinson, Attapulgus, Climax and the City of Bainbridge.” She elaborated further, “The plan is tied to federal funding, so if we applied for federal funding for, say, a bridge that went out from a flood, we would need that to be identified in the plan for us to be able to apply for federal funding.”

In addition to members of law enforcement and other community institutions, two representatives from the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission, Deputy Director Barbara Reddick and Senior Planner Kay Olubowale, were present at the meeting, as a grant is provided for the update, and contracted through the Regional Commission. The plan must be submitted and approved by FEMA by 2022. Various suggested updates for the new plan included more generators, cones, road signs and shelters.

Griffin herself suggested investment in updating cyber security, stating, “I think one thing we really don’t look at enough is technological hazards. Right now, we’re probably all vulnerable to ransom ware. So I think we might need to look into how to beef up your computer systems and include that in there.”

While Memorial Hospital and Southern Regional Technical College are technically both involved in pre-hazard mitigation, both institutions have their own separate plans.

“What we do is we attach it to this plan… We just attach their entire plan to this,” Griffin said.

The previous Pre-Hazard Mitigation Plan from 2016 is viewable online at swgrcplanning.org.