Allen County Emergency Management sees potential for citizen preparedness in emergency

Courtesy of the Allen County web site

Things are calm in Allen County, Kentucky, but for Preparedness Coordinator Lindsey Vick, there are always procedures to follow and preparations underway.

Her office focuses on concerns for local health first – when an outbreak occurs, the first step is to get the information out to the residents of Scottsville and the other cities in the county.

“We get the information out to our town like if we had a center set up for evacuations, if there was a need for quarantine or if we had vaccinations available,” Vick said.

Then, they would coordinate with local police, the local hospital and nursing home and agencies that work with the public to get the word out and to put their emergency plans into action.

In nearly two years on the job, Vick has familiarized herself with the emergency procedures that would be put in place in the event of a bioterrorism issue or outbreak of a disease like Ebola, but she’s also learned that the citizens of the county aren’t prepared.

There are things that Allen County residents can do though, to be more prepared for a public health emergency.

“Either with information that we hand out or by doing research on their own, they should educate themselves,” she said

In preparation for potential public health crises, as the Preparedness Coordinator, Vick works with surrounding counties as part of the Heart Group, which brings together emergency response personnel from Allen County’s sister counties – the group meets each month to keep emergency response professionals from around the state informed on each county’s efforts and preparedness.

“This allows us to pull from the resources from other counties in the event that there is an incident,” Vick said.

In addition to her role as the preparedness coordinator, Vick also holds two other positions for the county - clerical and information technology.