Valley Grande gives $5K to EMA

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 22, 2004

This week the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency received a $5,000 donation from the Valley Grande City Council to help the agency update its equipment and expand the Emergency Operations Center.

Valley Grande council members unanimously approved the resolution, presented by Mayor Tom Lee, at their Nov. 15 meeting.

“After Hurricane Ivan, we learned a valuable lesson that you can’t be too prepared,” Lee said. “We are not concerned with just hurricanes, but also tornadoes and ice storms that many crop up. This is a growing community, and we want to be a part of the services that the EMA provides.”

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EMA Director Brett Howard said the funds would be used for expanding his Emergency Operations Center and purchasing hi-tech equipment.

“This is going to help us better manage disasters and have better equipment to do it with,” Howard said.

Howard added that the Emergency Operations Center is located in cramped offices in the bottom floor of the Dallas County Courthouse Annex.

“After the hurricane, we realized we needed more room to operate,” he said. “The EOC is well equipped, but we’re lacking in space. Once we expand, we’re going to need to fill up the space with computers, new monitors and equipment.”

Lee said the City of Valley Grande also has plans to work with the EMA to establish an emergency response center within city limits, which could be used to store disaster relief equipment and serve as a second location for emergency workers if a natural disaster ever strikes the county again.

“We’re going to work together with the EMA to ensure the new building will have all the same wiring and inventory they may need,” Lee said. “This way, if a disaster ever happened in Valley Grande, the EMA could take their computers and set them up in our center without ever missing a beat.”

“I’m excited about what they are doing in Valley Grande,” Howard said. “This is going to help us tremendously.”