Katy Westbrook, CEO of Lux Mitigation and Planning in Ellijay, continued to facilitate the update of Spalding County’s disaster risk mitigation plan during a meeting Thursday at the Senior Center in Griffin.
Hired by the Council of Commissioners, Westbrook oversaw the finale of several sessions (all this year) devoted to the disaster risk mitigation plan.
The objective of this component is to assess the natural and anthropogenic hazards that could potentially impact Spalding County (including Griffin, Sunny Side and Orchard Hill), then identify actions (mitigation strategies) that can be taken in advance to reduce these impacts on people and property in the county and its municipalities, Westbrook said.
Various agencies throughout the county including, but not limited to Spalding County Fire Department / Emergency Management Agency, Griffin Fire-Rescue, Griffin Police Department, Parks of the Spalding County, public land and recreation service; Fish from Sun City; and WellStar as well as the Griffin-Spalding County School System had representatives at the meeting.
An update of the plan is required every five years by federal and Georgian emergency management agencies in order to qualify for state and federal funding, among others.
The last such update was made in 2015.
The final stages of approval include submitting the plan to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) for review, obtaining local council approval or passage, and then requesting review by the Federal Emergency. Management Agency (FEMA) and finally the final adoption by Griffin, Orchard Hill and Sunny Side. .
One of the common changes suggested by several agencies present during Thursday’s session was to secure generators, both portable and permanent, for their services to use in the event of disaster or danger.
The most likely hazards identified in previous sessions included:
1. Severe thunderstorms (heavy rain, lightning, hail and straight winds)
4. Harsh winter (snow, sleet, etc.)
5. Special pathogen / highly infectious disease
T6. Transport incident (highway, rail, air)
T8. Failure of infrastructure (pipelines, utilities, natural gas)
T8. Communication failure
T10. Tropical storm evacuees
T10. Tropical cyclones (tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane)
T10. Hazardous materials incident
T17. Terrorism (cyber, active shooter)