Newton County Emergency Managements mission is to provide a comprehensive and aggressive all‐hazards approach to homeland security initiatives, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery and special events in order to protect life and property and prevent and/or reduce negative impacts of terrorism and natural disasters in Georgia.
The primary role of NCEMA is to provide the following processes to deal with disaster situations. Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery.
- Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. This is achieved through risk analysis, which results in information that provides a foundation for mitigation activities that reduce risk, and flood insurance that protects financial investment.
- Preparedness refers to the state of being prepared for specific or unpredictable events or situations. Preparedness is an important quality in achieving goals and in avoiding and mitigating negative outcomes. It is a major phase of emergency management.
- Response The response phase of an emergency may commence with search and rescue but in all cases the focus will quickly turn to fulfilling the basic humanitarian needs of the affected population. Effective coordination of disaster assistance is often crucial, particularly when many organizations respond and local emergency management agency (LEMA) capacity has been exceeded by the demand or diminished by the disaster itself.
- Recovery The aim of the recovery phase is to restore the affected area to its previous state. It differs from the response phase in its focus; recovery efforts are concerned with issues and decisions that must be made after immediate needs are addressed. Recovery efforts are primarily concerned with actions that involve rebuilding destroyed property, and the repair of other essential infrastructure.
We attempt this process with an all hazards approach, trying to take into account all possibilities but at times it is difficult as many different new situations arise every year.
NCEMA responds to nearly every large incident within the County; tornados, large vehicle accidents (the majority involving hazardous materials), other hazardous materials spills to mitigate the cleanup, and any other situation where EMA is requested or may be able to provide a service.
Our department also maintains a Local Emergency Operations Plan (LEOP) which outlines policies and procedures for dealing with a verity of emergency situations within Newton County, which is one of the many requirements that assures that Newton County will be eligible for assistance through the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) if the disaster is declared by the Governor at the state level or the President at a federal level.
The latest being the tornado that struck The Town of Newborn in April, 2011 where damage was in excess of $750,000.
Jody Nolan currently serves as the Director of the Newton County Emergency Management Agency and brings to Newton County nearly 30 years of experience in his field.
Many employees in other Newton County departments are a part of the team that makes up Newton County Emergency Management. Newton County employees in GIS, Tax Appraisal, Public Works, Tax Assessors Office and others make up Newton County’s Damage Assessment Team.
On many incidents Newton County Public Works Employees and Newton County Solid Waste Management Employees have spent countless hours on the side of the highway clearing debris and providing assistance in the protection the Citizens of Newton County from Hazardous Material spills or hauling burnt cargo to the landfill to keep the roads safe.
Newton County is a Storm Ready County as outlined below:
What is StormReady? It is a National Weather Service program designed to recognize counties that have reached a high level of severe weather preparedness. To be recognized as StormReady, a county must meet criteria established jointly between the NWS and state and local emergency management officials. These criteria include:
- Having a local 24-hour warning point and an Emergency Operations Center.
- Having multiple ways of receiving NWS warnings.
- Being able to monitor local weather/river conditions.
- Having multiple ways of alerting the public.
- Promoting public readiness through community seminars and presentations.
- Having a formal hazardous weather plan.
- Having trained spotters.
- Conducting periodic drills / exercises.
- Interacting with their supporting NWS office.
NCEMA also has the responsibility of providing the risk management services for Newton County by processing and investigating all workers compensation claims, by maintaining all insurance policies for all County owned property and filing all claims on behalf of those policies.
NCEMA maintains a vast array of training opportunities for Newton County employees both online and in a classroom setting to any department that may request it. Some examples are; defensive driving, hazardous material identification and spill management, confined space entry, work place emergencies, First Aid, CPR, blood borne pathogen and many others. We also on occasion provide training to the citizens of Newton County on the subject of emergency preparedness.
We encourage all employees to be prepared for disasters to protect you and your family you can prepare yourself by going to www.ready.gov there is some great information here that outlines the process you should follow.