The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is a partnership between Maury County, Tennessee and the City of Columbia, whose responsibility, is to develop plans for dealing with all types of catastrophic emergencies and/or disasters and to coordinate agencies to work together to save lives and property.

OEM has four responsibilities to the county and the city:

Preparedness — this is a community effort. It starts with the individual and/or family. In the event of an emergency and/or disaster, it generally takes 72 hours for emergency responders to find and account for victims. So with that in mind, OEM asks:

  1. An emergency plan discussion is held with family members;
  2. Learn where to seek shelter from all types of hazards if such a shelter is available;
  3. Identify community warning sytems and evacuation routes;
  4. Practice and/or maintain plan;
  5. Collect and assemble supplies that allows self-reliance for at least 72 hours.

Mitigation — each county is required by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to have a written hazard mitigation plan. The plan must be approved and in place so that the area hit by the disaster is eligible to receive federal funding for recovery. The purpose of the plan is to save lives, reduce property damage, and decrease the amount of money needed to recover from the disaster. For additional resources, see also www.ready.gov.

Detection — technology is vital to the OEM’s ability to be reactive to catastrophes and/or disaster. Whether it’s a weather-related event or a terrorist event, Maury County is now linked (new E-911 phone system) with the other 94 counties in the state. Crucial information can now be shared to help keep Tennesseans and Maury Countians safe. Health related events such as a pandemic can now be dealt with more effectively, thanks to the information sharing between government agencies. For further information about these efforts, visit www.panademicflu.gov or www.cdc.gov/flu or call 1.800.CDC.INFO. Terrorism is no longer reserved for remote countries or international boundaries. Terrorism is the newest threat of the public’s safety as unfortunately witnessed by events such as 9-1-1, among others. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) plays a key role in these endeavors. Information about protecting yourself from possible terrorism is available at www.tnema.org

Response — copy here

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Site photos courtesy of Becky Arnott

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