It has been a busy couple of weeks! So far, emergency management has submitted three grants for the homeland security grant.
- Security wall with ballistic resistant glass for the Sheriff’s Office
- Surveillance Systems for: The airport, the water plant, and the armory
- A metal detector for the court room
EMS has submitted a grant for an upgrade in security for the hospital, a retrofit to the decommissioned ambulance into a CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives) to enhance the fire departments abilities, and mask refitting.
These grants do not have a cost share, that means that the DHS will cover the whole cost. No guarantees that we will get these projects but, its good to identify what is needed and to go for it when there is little to no cost share. Not all grants are this way, a lot of them have a cost share, where the city or the county will pay a certain amount towards the project.
In addition to the grants, emergency management also sends information up to the state for existing projects or FEMA work. We keep track of expenses and compile them into the quarterly reports, which allows for a 50% reimbursement for the county and the status reports lets the state know that work is being done and what we are working on.
Emergency Management has ordered an outdoor early warning siren for Lake Juanita. The funds for the siren come from the 911 account, there is no additional costs for the county aside from maintenance. This siren, like the sirens in the city, will be tested monthly from 01 May through September. The sirens are tested on the first Tuesday of the month around 1:00 PM. Sirens will not be tested if bad weather is predicted for that day. There will be no make up test days. The sirens will not be used as an all clear. Stay tuned to local media for weather updates and conditions.
Foster County now has IPAWS (emergency alert system) capabilities. What this means, is that if there is a large event, we can send out an alert that will go through the National Weather Service, radio, television, smart phones, etc. Unlike Code RED, IPAWS is geographical instead of self-enrollment. We still encourage you to sign up for Code RED as IPAWS has very strict guidelines on when and how to use it.
Foster County now has a Public Information Officer. Bonnie from Public Health will be the contact for certain events. We will have a designated location for her to go for media and the public who want information. This site will be away from the scene to keep everyone safe and to ensure that there is nothing blocking the emergency responders or their vehicles.
Last but not least – Foster County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan is up at the state for review. After the state reviews it, we either get the plan back to revise with the states comments or it goes up to FEMA for their review. FEMA either sends it back with suggested revisions or approves it. Once the plan is FEMA approved, the county and participating jurisdictions must adopt the plan. Once that is done, the plan is in place and allows the County and cities to be eligible for Federal Funds. The plan needs to be updated every five years but FEMA suggests yearly updates.