WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (12/26/12) – Judge Executive Jim Townsend, Webster County EMA Director Jeremy Moore and Deputy Director Rocky Williams attended the 2012 Governor’s Emergency Management Workshop Dec. 11 to the 13, at the Galt House Hotel and Suites in downtown Louisville. The theme for this year’s workshop was “Systems and Solutions.”
Hosted by Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), this year’s workshop was of great importance to senior elected officials and emergency management personnel across the Commonwealth, as Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new Presidential declaration request process was discussed. This year’s conference “Systems and Solutions” provided track classes that prepared participants for the new process and informed of new KYEM web-based tools that would assist counties in all areas of emergency management, including mitigation grant applications.
“The way FEMA declares a federal disaster area has changed,” said Jeremy Moore. “The counties and states have a different process to be declared a disaster area.”
He said the process will now be harder and may take longer.
Workshop opening speakers included Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson, Edward W. Tonini, The Adjutant General of Kentucky and Ellen Henson, chief of staff Louisville Metro Government. The common theme in their message, and echoed throughout the workshop, emphasized what emergency management personnel and elected officials, do across the Commonwealth, in good times and the bad, make a difference.
This year’s workshop provided more than 500 attendees the opportunity to participate in two days of classroom training. The attendees were addressed during working luncheons by keynote speakers, including FEMA’s Associate Administrator, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, David Miller and Sam Cox, Training Manager with Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Public Safety & Security.
With technological advances and new systems coming on board every day, the workshop brought together emergency management personnel, state and local elected officials, state officials, volunteer organizations and private sector partners who have a vested interest in the preparation for, response to and recovery from emergency events. Attendees were able to train, network and share product information with decision makers before, during and after disasters and other emergencies.
One of the new system advances was the CHAMPS Program.
“It will be a great tool in tracking and applying for hazard mitigation grant funds,” Moore said. “It will also be used for damage assessment. It’s going to allow us to speed up damage assessments and make them more accurate.”
CHAMPS will use tablet computers that will allow EMA responders to GPS each damaged structure and to take pictures that will be readily available for FEMA.
During the workshop closing ceremony KYEM presented a yearend review and a look ahead to 2013 and the goals and objectives for the division and the Commonwealth’s emergency management programs.
J-E News Editor
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