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[June 28, 2014]
Clark County to establish continuity response plan [Springfield News-Sun, Ohio :: ]
(Springfield News-Sun (Ohio) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 29--Clark County officials are expected to begin working on a comprehensive continuity response plan for county departments that could cost between $5,000 to $10,000.
Administrator Nathan Kennedy and Clark County Emergency Management Agency Director Lisa D'Allessandris have been given approval from county commissioners to establish a Continuity of Operations Plan that will ensure that the essential functions of the county continue in the event of a disaster or other emergencies.
The plan would identify essential personnel, services and equipment that would need to be relocated immediately in the event of an emergency.
"If something were to impact the function of local government, we have to make sure we maintain essential services ... We have to make sure we have a plan so that services do not go away in a disaster event," D'Allessandris said.
D'Allessandris and Kennedy said a few county departments have some continuity plans in place, but specific plans for all county departments need to be established.
"We have one, but it's 10 years old for county government, and I question how those were put together ... other disaster recovery plans for chemical spills and tornadoes, we have plenty of those. What we don't have is if a tornado comes through and rips through Lagonda, there's going to be a ton of people wondering how they are going to get their food stamps ... but they can't get them because JFS has been taken out." Kennedy said officials are considering hiring a contractor or a temporary administrative employee to assist in the process. He added that the commission departments have back-up plans for individual staff members, but do not have plans if multiple people and systems are impacted after a disaster event.
"That would be problematic, and I'm also not aware if other departments have thought about contingency plans," Kennedy said.
D'Allessandris said she and Kennedy discussed establishing the continuity plan months before the May 21-22 thunderstorm that displaced more then 100 people.
The storm caused severe flooding at a Bethel Twp. apartment complex and other parts of Clark County and resulted in the U.S. Small Business Administration declaring the county a disaster area.
D'Allessandris said a continuity plan for county departments is needed.
"I'm pleased that commissioners and the administration find this a valuable project and support not only a plan for our citizens, but a response and recovery plan that we need to make sure the services we provide to our citizens remain intact," D'Allessandris said.
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