Are Your Communities Prepared for Emergency/Disasters?

December 4, 2018

It’s that wonderful time of year again for all EMA Directors to prepare their budgets for the upcoming year. Are your communities really prepared for emergency disasters? You may want to consider the immense costs related to any disaster that may affect your community. Just the task of debris removal can cost any community thousands of dollars. Are you including in your budget any money set aside for this process? Many communities do not think of the importance, responsibilities and tasks the Emergency Management Agencies perform in their communities. Most of us quietly go about mitigating, responding, preparing and planning recoveries procedures for our communities in the event of any problems or disasters that may occur.

The Town of South Thomaston, Maine has been diligent and supportive in funding an “Emergency Disaster Reserve Fund” with $20,000 set aside to offset expenses for any emergency/disaster situation. They recognize as a community that all disasters begin and end at the local level and it will take funding to manage and recover. This fund is larger than the State of Maine’s Disaster Fund which is currently non-funded and also larger than Knox County EMA Disaster Reserve.

We have all seen the devastating effects of disasters, the wild fires in California, the multiple hurricane that have taken place just over the past year. No community is really exempt from these types of devastation’s. However, you can prepare for these events in your communities by setting aside funds that will assist your community on a local level. If you wait for government funding, your communities could experience some very difficult times. With that said, I urge you to put in your budget expense an Emergency Reserve Fund to help offset expenses in the event of any disaster or emergency your community may face. Hopefully, the State of Maine will begin to recognize that communities will also need their assistance and fund their Emergency Disaster Fund.

Happy Budgeting to All.
Betty N. Thomas
EMA Director
South Thomaston, Maine

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