By Teresa P. Crowder
Serious preparations and resourceful conversations took place during the Johnson County Hazard Mitigation Planning meeting held last week at the Johnson County Emergency Management Office.
Director, Jason Blevins, was on hand to welcome Tennessee Emergency Management, TEMA representatives Michelle Klein and Michelle Matson as they conducted the meeting with the committee and the general public.
Emergency Management Planning is crucial to the county in being prepared should we experience a major weather event.
Klein and Matson worked with Blevins and the committee to review Johnson County’s current plan. The goal is to make revisions or recommendations so that it is ready to turn into FEMA to be eligible for funds should they be needed to assist the county with necessary action in rendering support to locals in the effect of flooding, wind, and tornado damage, snowstorms or wildfires.
“We are here on the mitigation side to have a long-term solution to something. We want to have a plan to fix something that will help in the long run. No plan-no grant.”
The presentation also highlighted how other counties have planned and received funds for troublesome areas.
Johnson County’s current plan was reviewed, and appropriate revisions were made through recommendations by TEMA members, including Blevins, Road Superintendent Wagner, and County Mayor Jerry Jordan.
The planning process also used data from the National Weather Service for Johnson County in the last ten years or more and data from the county regarding current and past problem areas.
This year the plan added wildfire prevention. “Jason did a phenomenal job acquiring this data on wildfires from the Division of Forestry,” Klein said. “The committee was able to complete the basic plan for Mr. Blevins and Ms. Matson to review once more before submitting it to FEMA.”
“I am grateful for the help of everyone that took from their busy schedules to develop projects that can help us mitigate problem areas that were addressed,” said Blevins.
The Johnson County Hazard Mitigation Plan will be available upon request as citizens should contact Blevins at 423-727-2507.