McKinney appointed EMA Director

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 13, 2007

LINDEN &8212; Kevin McKinney has been serving as the part time director for the Emergency Management Authority of Marengo County for the last three years. At Tuesday&8217;s County Commission session, he was granted the position on a full-time basis.

In regards to McKinney&8217;s position, Commissioner John Crawford, Jr. commented, &8220;I think this will be a great benefit for Marengo County.&8221;

Previously, many rural counties including Marengo County have had a difficulty securing someone as a full-time director because of funding. Due to House Bill 395, which passed on the last day of the state legislature regular session, counties can now apply for a salary supplement for EMA directors.

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In addition to boosting the compensation for the directors, the bill will also require them to undergo minimum standards training. This training will bring more information about emergency preparedness to the community.

McKinney also serves as the administrator at the Marengo County Sheriff&8217;s Department. When his new position becomes effective on June 18, he will no longer work with the jail system.

After each hurricane, Marengo County was declared a presidential disaster area. This means that damaged areas qualified for federal funding and assistance. According to McKinney, however, if this is not the case, there is very little the EMA can do.

In order to prevent this occurrence, McKinney plans to create an unmet needs committee, which can apply for local funding in those situations that are beyond federal help. Another committee that McKinney hopes to reactivate is the Local Emergency Planning Committee, which has not met in the three years McKinney has been director.

An important source of funding for the EMA comes from the Department of Homeland Security. They frequently issue grants to help aid in the cost of emergency planning.

Since McKinney has been director, he has been doing extensive work to create a database of information that can help communities out in the event of a disaster. The information includes cataloging what kinds of generators are needed for water wells, grocery stores, schools and other facilities to keep them in operation during an emergency.

The Marengo County EMA has also been able to secure some necessary equipment for the area and put in security devices such as weather sirens and surveillance cameras in the courthouse.