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Lowndes County raises level of preparedness

Lowndes County EMA director Walter Hill stands beside boxes of emergency supplies.

By Eason Franklin
The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) recently was awarded $5,000 in its first round of funding to be better prepared for a flu pandemic.

“This grant is to enhance the level of preparedness for the county,” said EMA Director Walter Hill. “This is with respect to the national stockpile.”

The grant was given through the Alabama Department of Public Health and provided the Lowndes County EMA with a pandemic operations deployment kit, incident command security vests and expanded barricades to help corridor off areas of concern.

“The equipment will further enhance the county’s level of preparedness, capability and readiness if it were to occur at any time in the county,” said Hill.

Lowndes County was one of 12 counties within Alabama to receive this grant.

The Lowndes County Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is also in line for three additional grants to provide emergency equipment and further training for Lowndes County’s first responders.

The Inoperable Communications Grants will provide broadband radio communications, handheld radios, repeaters, towers and cover installation costs, according to Hill.

Hill said he “anticipates the grant will be fully funded to the region.”

The 2011 Homeland Security Grant and will provide additional emergency equipment and training to Lowndes County first responders, law enforcement and medical response and the Hazard Mitigation Grant that is being applied for will focus on hazards within the county and provide technical support and assistance for addressing and being effectively capable to respond to hazardous incidents within Lowndes County.

The Homeland Security Grant is expected to be awarded on or before Oct. 15, according to Hill.