General aspects of disaster recovery addressed as part of Emergency Management Recovery meeting series


Addressing recovery in the event of a disaster ... Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker (standing at far right) makes an introduction of Janet Riley (standing at left) of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management at a Tuesday, October 1 Emergency Management Recovery meeting held at the Allamakee County Public Safety Center near Waukon. At this October 1 meeting planned as part of an overall series, the two addressed a group of area governmental, business and organizational leaders in regard to general aspects of the recovery planning process in the event of a natural or other type of disaster within Allamakee County. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

by Joe Moses

An Emergency Management Recovery meeting and presentation was conducted by Janet Riley with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Tuesday morning, October 1 at the Allamakee County Public Safety Center just north of Waukon. The meeting began with an introduction by Allamakee County Emergency Management Coordinator Corey Snitker, followed by Riley speaking to a full conference room consisting of members of the media, local government, financial institutions, public works and economic development among other stakeholders from within the county.

Riley’s hour and a half presentation covered multiple topics relating to general aspects of the recovery planning process in the event of a natural or other type of disaster within the county. Riley discussed her role as the State of Iowa’s disaster recovery planner with over 20 years of experience working in recovery and related fields, explaining that recovery planning is an area that she is passionate about as an important next step following rescue efforts necessary to save lives.

Riley addressed various planning and implementation matters relating to eligibility criteria for state and federal disaster assistance. She also discussed the importance of local recovery planning with overarching recovery plan goals to increase the speed of community recovery, to effectively use resources and to increase opportunities for community resiliency and betterment.

An overview of the various stages of recovery were provided including short-term, intermediate and long-term, and associated matters including infrastructure, health and social services, housing, economic and natural and cultural resources. Various stakeholders were discussed at the governmental level including elected officials and City and local staff as well as non-governmental stakeholders including citizens, volunteer agencies, media, businesses, universities, hospitals, healthcare providers, drainage/levee districts and churches.

The necessity of organizing for recovery was addressed with Riley indicating that multiple organizations have input and roles in the recovery process and without organization, essential functions and opportunities may be missed. Primary, coordinating and supporting roles were discussed within the organizational model to include the task force leadership group, working group and long-term recovery committee. Riley advised that local resources should be focused upon, with the State’s planning identifying both state and federal resources that will be available.

In conclusion, Riley discussed plans for the next in a series of planned meetings to take place in late fall or early winter. Future workshops and exercises will focus on specific recovery support functions to be coordinated with Allamakee County Emergency Management involvement as well.
 

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