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St. Francis County, Arkansas
Emergency Management

St Francis County OEM 


Mission Statement

"The Office of Emergency Management will provide a comprehensive emergency management program to reduce loss of life and protect critical infrastructure within St Francis County."

 

Preparedness:

The Office of Emergency Management is responsible for a number of planning activities aimed at enhancing the County's preparedness for disasters and emergencies. Probably the most visible product of those planning activities is the Emergency Operations Plan, the comprehensive, all-hazard plan that coordinates the emergency management activities of St Francis County Government. Although the Basic Plan addresses all phases of emergency management, it is specifically oriented toward preparedness and response activities. Other activities include:

  • LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Commitee)
  • Public Educations www.ready.arkansas.gov
  • CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)
  • Natural Hazard Mitigation  Planning
  • Hazardous Materials Team
  • Homeland Security
  • Training
  • Exercises/Drills

Response:

An effective response to a major emergency or disaster requires a coordinated effort. The Office of Emergency Management works to ensure information gathering, decision making, and resource allocations are carried out efficiently. There are many components that make up all of department’s Emergency Response. Below are a few of the ways the agency handles emergencies:

Incident monitoring:
The department tracks incidents affecting St Francis County. Department staff continuously monitors radio frequencies used by County and City emergency responders, local and national news, weather conditions, and 911 calls, among other communications channels. It also maintains the County's communication link with local, state, and federal agencies, and notifies officials when incidents or issues of concern arise.

Field response:
The department sends field responders to larger incidents to facilitate interagency communication and resource requests. The department’s on-scene coordinators also help ensure responding agencies follow incident command protocols.

Emergency Operations Center:
During major emergencies and disasters, the department activates the County's Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC functions as a central clearinghouse for information coordination, resource requests, and decision making.

Recovery and Relief:
Following an emergency, the department works with government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide assistance to disaster victims and manage relief efforts, donations, and spontaneous volunteers.

 

Recovery:

When disasters occur of a magnitude that state and federal assistance might be needed, the Office of Emergency Management coordinates damage surveys with state and federal agencies, prepares disaster declaration requests for the County Judge’s signature, and deploys staff to the affected area to coordinate the overall recovery process. For major disasters, state and federal recovery staff are collocated in a Joint Field Office.the Office of Emergency Management staff provide local coordination with these agencies which includes specialists who carry out disaster recovery programs for individual disaster survivors (Individual Assistance), as well as specialists who aid local governments and public entities, such as school districts and hospitals (Public Assistance), with programs to repair or reconstruct facilities that were damaged or destroyed.

 

Mitigation:

Mitigation efforts attempt to prevent hazards from developing into disasters altogether, or to reduce the effects of disasters when they occur. The mitigation phase differs from the other phases because it focuses on long-term measures for reducing or eliminating risk. The implementation of mitigation strategies can be considered a part of the recovery process if applied after a disaster occurs. However, even if applied as part of recovery efforts, actions that reduce or eliminate risk over time are still considered mitigation efforts.

Mitigation measures can be structural or non-structural. Structural measures use technological solutions, like flood levees. Non-structural measures include legislation, land-use planning, and insurance e.g. the designation of nonessential land like parks to be used as flood zones. Mitigation is the most cost-efficient method for reducing the impact of hazards. However, mitigation is not always suitable and structural mitigation in particular may have adverse effects on the environment.

The goal of mitigation is to reduce the future impacts of a hazard including property damage, disruption to local and regional economies, and the amount of public and private funds spent to assist with recovery. However, mitigation should be based on risk assessment.

A risk assessment is measuring the potential loss from a hazard event by assessing the vulnerability of buildings, infrastructure and people. It identifies the characteristics and potential consequences of hazards, how much of the community could be affected by a hazard, and the impact on community assets.

Useful Links:

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management

Federal Emergency Management Agency

National Incident Management System Training

Arkansas Floodplain Management Association

US Army Corp of Engineers

Emergency Management Assistance Compact

National Weather Service

Arkansas Forestry

Arkansas Geographical Survey

Arkansas Natural Resource Commission

Earthquake Information

 
St. Francis County, Arkansas
313 South Izard • Forrest City, AR 72335
Phone: (870) 261-1700
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St. Francis County, Arkansas