FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Contact: Jessica Robinson, 573-751-0290
Gov. Blunt Announces Springfield Awarded $1 Million Federal Grant to Update Emergency Operations Center
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Matt Blunt today announced the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the City of Springfield $1 million to upgrade their Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
“Springfield managed emergency response operations for several ice storms, floods and tornado events since 2006 and was instrumental in setting up Hurricane Katrina and Gustav shelter operations for Gulf Coast residents seeking safety in Missouri. I am pleased this grant will provide the funding needed to construct a new state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center,” Gov. Blunt said.
“Springfield is one of 22 communities nationwide that received the grant funding. A fully capable emergency operations center is essential to protecting our citizens lives in the midst of a disaster,” said Ron M. Reynolds, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) director.
“Experience has taught us that preparedness saves lives,” Congressman Roy Blunt said. “Greene County already has the experienced personnel, the advanced communications systems and technologies that can place first-responder where they matter most—rendering immediate aid during chaotic storms and emergencies.”
The Emergency Operations Center Grant was a nationwide competitive grant totaling $14.5 Million.
Since 2006, Greene County received federal disaster assistance for the March 2006 tornadoes, December 2006 and January 2007 winter storms, September 2007 flooding, December 2007 and March 2008 winter storms, the March and June 2008 flooding.
Under Gov. Blunt, the office of homeland security was redesigned and transformed to better protect our citizens. This action elevated the responsibility to the Department of Public Safety with the dedicated resources of the department including National Guard, Highway Patrol, Fire Marshal’s office, and State Emergency Management Agency to accomplish the Homeland Security mission.
Since the merge, the department has lead the effort in preparing for and responding to disasters, created Missouri’s first ever information analysis center (MIAC), drafted an Interoperability communication plan to ensure law enforcement and first responders can communicate during a disaster, implemented a new distribution formula for local government to receive homeland security grant funding, and employed regional homeland security committees across the state to encourage input from homeland security stakeholders.With the governor’s direction Missouri’s Homeland Security effort is coordinated among federal, state and local communities and covers a multi-hazard, multi-threat spectrum of possible scenarios. The state’s unique geological features, such as the Missouri River, Mississippi River and New Madrid seismic fault, along with the state’s various military bases are identified as distinctive areas covered by the homeland security plan.