The Polk County Water Authority in cooperation with Randy Lacey at Polk County Public Safety and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is doing its part in support of the 2020 National Preparedness Month all across the United States and assuring compliance with the Authority’s Emergency Response Plan and Vulnerability Assessment.
During September, the PCWA will be installing items to support a disaster relief location in case of a catastrophic event in Polk County. In planning discussions with Lacey, it was determined that the authority business location seems ideally suited with facilities necessary to support a small group of people in need of safety and housing during critical circumstances.
The location is intended to provide short-term emergency relief until other, more permanent arrangements can be made with neighbors, friends, church or family members or other local or national agencies who can provide longer term support.
“We have identified the space we need to accommodate about 20 adults and children who have temporarily experienced severe loss. It’s really just the necessities, such as a place to sleep, shower and stay out of harm’s way until the threat passes,” said Jack Damron, Water Authority General Manager.
“We are installing sleeping cots, blankets and pillows and heated space. We have bathroom and shower facilities, car parking and drinking water that can be available during the worst of times. The Authority will also have expanded first aid capabilities for those in need.
“We believe we can accommodate 4-5 families during an event. This is only meant to be a short-term arrangement for folks in need. We are doing what we can to support our neighbors when disasters occur.”
Ashley Guthrie, Authority Office Manager, is spearheading the establishment of the location and is being supported by the PCWA staff and management.
Lacey is also in support of the project, adding, “We hope this will motivate other local businesses with available facilities to follow the authority’s example of preparing for emergencies.”