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Emergency Management/Office of Homeland Security (EMA/OHS)

The Jackson County EMA/OHS coordinates the efforts of the county in the areas of Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery from disasters and major emergencies in the county. Formerly known as Civil Defense due to the focus on preparedness for nuclear attack, Emergency Management changed with the times and shifted priorities to include an “All-Hazard” approach to emergency planning regardless of the cause or nature of the emergency. The Jackson County EMA/OHS is a division of the Jackson County Department of Emergency Services which operates under the authority of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.

 

Jackson County Emergency Management is the local branch of the Georgia Emergency Management /Office of Homeland Security at the state level and the Federal Emergency Management Agency/Office of Homeland Security at the Federal level. Jackson County EMA/OHS works with these agencies and other local, state and federal agencies before, during and after an emergency or disaster. Jackson County EMA/OHS has qualified for the Federal Performance Partnership Agreement, which ensures the county federal disaster assistance and individual assistance in the event of a declared major disaster.

In addition to being eligible for federal assistance during a declared major disaster, our personal qualifications, which are based on meeting state mandated training requirements enable us to receive funding to aid in other efforts.

 

EMA/OHS

Some of the Agency’s responsibilities.

1.  Maintain a workable Local Emergency Operations Plan

2.  Encourage and facilitate interagency cooperation and coordination of various local first responders and their departments, i.e. Volunteers, Fire, Ems, Law enforcement, state agencies, federal agencies, private organizations and any other department or organizations that would have a role in any major emergency situation.

3.  Maintain and staff an effective Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to assist in coordinating response activities, allocating resources and facilitate recovery efforts where Agency/Department Heads will work together in a unified structure to respond and or mitigate an emergency or disaster.

4.  Disseminate emergency warning information to the public, governmental agencies, and industries by using warning sirens, weather radios and other emergency notification systems. We are recognized as a Stormready community by the National Weather Service and have the support of a Skywarn Team and a Amateur Radio Emergency Services Team (A.R.E.S.)

5.  Actively promote school, government and citizen disaster preparedness and self sufficiency through public education programs such as Ready Georgia., Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), American Red Cross and other programs.

6.  If needed, respond to emergency and/or disaster incidents to assist first response agencies with incident coordination, provide auxiliary communication, obtain outside resources and help in the transition from response to recovery activities.

7.  Assist with obtaining training programs such as Incident Command required classes for local governments and all public safety personnel and also schedule Training Activates and classes at the Jackson Fire Training Center.

8.  Homeland Security aspect, Conduct threat assessments throughout the county, research intelligence information, and coordinate activities with local Sheriff’s office, Police Departments, State Agencies and Federal Agencies

9.  Coordinate with the American Red Cross for emergency shelter locations and Mass care during an emergency or major disaster.

10. Conducts damage assessments that may result in a disaster declaration that can provide assistance to individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations and local governments.

11.Maintain records and report compliance for all agencies and Departments (City and County) in Jackson County for the National Incident Management System training as required by Ga. and Federal Law.

 

 

JACKSON COUNTY RESCUE

The Jackson County Volunteer Rescue Squads are comprised of Volunteers, who without any kind of compensation, 24 hours a day 7days a week, responded with EMS crews and other public safety units to emergency scenes to provide basic life support, auto extrication, missing persons searches and other services to the citizens of Jackson County. These volunteers spend their time and energy to help provide safer communities in which our citizens can live.

 

There are four main areas of focus utilized by this department in meeting its goals:

 

MITIGATION: In the area of mitigation, the Jackson County EMA has developed a pre-disaster mitigation plan to eliminate or reduce the effects of hazards within the county. This project required a group effort between the county, the cities, the state, and non-governmental agencies so that all areas within the county remain eligible for federal mitigation funds and aid. 

PREPAREDNESS: To meet preparedness goals we continually review our emergency operations plan and conduct   exercises each year. These exercises are geared to evaluate our response capabilities and to determine what changes and improvements we need to make to meet response needs during emergencies. The department also conducts preparedness programs for the citizens and has obtained Storm Ready® status as designated by the National Weather Service 

RESPONSE: Proper mitigation and preparedness are both critical if we are to perform well in the next area of responsibility which is response. During significant emergency events requiring multiple agency involvement, the Jackson County EMA is responsible for activating the Emergency Operations Center or “EOC” and coordinating the response. The EMA is also responsible for advising the Commission Chairman to request assistance from the State when local capabilities are overwhelmed. 

RECOVERY: As soon as practical during or after response, the EMA is responsible to begin coordinating recovery activities. These activities can include requesting the establishment of a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center, debris removal, restoring utilities, and rebuilding critical infrastructure and facilities. Jackson County has an accepted debris management plan. 

BECOME INFORMED & PREPARED

Citizens of the county can assist with community preparedness by becoming informed and preparing themselves and their families for emergencies. In the event of a disaster citizens should be prepared to cope until help arrives which can take from hours to days during a major event. Information on how to prepare can be obtained by visiting the websites below.

Ready GA

NWS

GEMA

Red Cross

 Ready Georgia

National Weather Service

Georgia Emergency Management

American Red Cross