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Taylor Countians can rest easy. Their top governmental leader says officials are ready to respond when faced with an emergency situation.
Magistrates gave their approval to the county's Emergency Operations Plan during their meeting earlier this month.
There was no discussion, though Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers says magistrates were given a copy of the plan, which totals nearly 100 pages, and made some suggestions before final approval.
Rogers said he believes the county's plan was last updated more than 10 years ago, during his first term in office.
He said the plan needed a re-design after FEMA officials said it must be in a specific format to qualify for disaster funding.
Rogers said he and Debra McNear, Taylor County's Solid Waste Coordinator, spent several months formatting and updating the new plan. He said there were no changes made as to the way offices respond to an emergency.
Many businesses, emergency services operations and industries were contacted, Rogers said, to include their emergency procedures in the county's plan.
"All entities have to respond," he said.
Having those procedures in place, Rogers said, shows him if an emergency situation happened in Taylor County, the response would be swift. The plan's detail calls for that, he said.
"It's very thorough," Rogers said. "Just in case there was an emergency, if there was a disaster. We've got a plan that we can go by."
After magistrates first reviewed the plan, Rogers said, it went to state officials for their approval. He said it then came back to magistrates for final adoption.
Rogers said state officials found no problems with the county's plan, which means it is up to code.
"If it's not, the state would not approve it," he said.
According to the emergency plan, it is designed to ensure a "coordinated and effective emergency response by the emergency responses discipline in Taylor County."
The function of the plan, it states, is to "lessen the impact of an emergency through the planning, preparation, response and recovery to the situation."
The plan provides detailed documents of about 15 emergency support functions, such as directions for transportation, communication, fire protection, housing, resource management, health and medical services, search and rescue, oil and hazardous materials spills, agriculture, energy, public safety and security, long-term recovery and public information.
The plan includes the roles of various law enforcement and emergency management officials, along with a list of potential resources available to help residents after an emergency situation.
Several hazards have been identified as possible to occur in Taylor County, the plan states, and include tornadoes, earthquakes, transportation crashes, energy and water shortages or outages, hazardous material incidents, terrorism and agriculture emergencies.
According to the plan, flooding and tornadoes are the most prevalent weather hazards, though winter snow and ice occasionally restrict traffic flow.
Under the plan, Rogers is responsible for emergency operations for situations happening in Taylor County and Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young is accountable for those within city limits.
Rogers is to appoint an emergency management director to oversee local response to an emergency situation. Taylor County Fire & Rescue Chief George Wilson has had that position for more than 30 years.
If more support is needed in an emergency, the plan calls for state emergency management officials, Kentucky National Guard and Kentucky State Police to help.
If an emergency happens, Rogers said, he is instructed to declare an emergency and then contact the appropriate agencies to respond.
He said all of those agencies, from law enforcement to medical personnel to utility companies, have their own emergency response procedures and will activate those depending on the type of emergency.
The plan requires that an emergency operations center be created to oversee the response to an emergency. That center is Campbellsville/Taylor County E-911. The alternate is Campbellsville Fire & Rescue.
The plan includes specific duties for Rogers, Young, Wilson, city and county attorneys, the county's property valuation administrator, judges, finance officers, the county's human resource manager, county clerk, health department officials, police and sheriff departments, street and road departments and others should an emergency happen.
"Every entity of county government is involved," Rogers said. "We've got people in the key spots that can help in just about any disaster we can have."
In severe weather situations, the plan calls for schools to be notified. School officials can then use their phone systems to alert parents.
The county's emergency alert system, CodeRED, allows emergency messages to be sent to specific areas as well as the entire county.
And Rogers said there are mock disasters scheduled every so often to put the emergency plan in place. The last was in April.
Wilson and Rogers say they believe county officials are prepared to handle an emergency situation.
"Most definitely," Rogers said. "It takes everybody working together."
Wilson said the county's plan has changed quite a bit over the years and he expects more changes in the next six months. He said the plan contains so much information that it is difficult to remember.
Those who work in law enforcement and emergency medical services do routine training, Wilson said, and have recently had a mock disaster exercise on the Campbellsville University campus.
The complete emergency plan is available at Rogers' office in the Taylor County Courthouse.