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Lincoln County gets new, updated plan for emergencies

Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey is working to complete an updated emergency plan for the county.

Recently, Galey received the county’s updated Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Galey presented it to the county’s Board of Supervisors and the city of Brookhaven’s Board of Aldermen, and both groups approved the initial basic plan.

The state’s Hazard Mitigation Plan is a 447-page document outlining methods to prepare for and respond to natural disaster emergency situations across the state.

The introduction to the document reads, in part, “The updated plan addresses natural hazards throughout the state with the expressed purpose of ‘saving lives and reducing future losses’ in anticipation of future events.”

“The plan is basically completely updated every five years,” said Galey. “It gives in-depth guidelines for agencies to plan and operate by in day-to-day situations and in the event of a disaster.”

The plan is meant to be continually reviewed and updated as necessary. MEMA refers to it as a “living document … reflecting current strategies and providing opportunities for evaluating the effectiveness of the projects and programs.”’

It centers on four goals that involve building local capabilities, promoting public education and awareness, and cooperation to enhance the state’s emergency readiness. The primary stated goal, however, is “to minimize loss of life, injury and damage to property, the economy and the environment from natural hazards.”

The county’s plan is based on that of the state and federal emergency management agencies.

“It is a basic guideline for the county to follow, following state and federal guidelines, all in-place,” Galey said.

Galey said it takes about one full month to update the plan for local use.

Fifteen additional entities will also approve the plan, said Galey, among them the support functions of the county and city. Once all necessary groups have approved it, the updated plan will be complete and placed into use.

A copy of the completed plan will be given to the Board of Supervisors, the Brookhaven mayor’s office and anyone else that needs to have a copy. A copy will be on file at Galey’s office, as well.