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Emergency Response Network To Launch in Southeast Kentucky

October 19, 2009

WHITESBURG, Ky. - Some regions of Kentucky have for years had an emergency response system in place to alert citizens of the potential threat of a manmade or natural disaster, but that's not the case in some pockets of the southeastern part of the state. In Letcher County, a network of residents, government officials, emergency response personnel, schools, and health care providers is developing a comprehensive plan to keep everyone in the county informed of any immediate and ongoing emergencies.

Spokesperson Mia Frederick with Appalshop, a non-profit arts and education center that helps communities solve problems, says it's an important step for the county.

"A systematic network is key to getting that information out to the public in a timely and useful manner."

One new tool, letcherweb.net, is a new Web site developed to keep everyone in the county accurately informed in the event of an emergency or disaster.

For an effective county-wide emergency management system, Frederick stresses the importance of getting everyone at the table during the planning and readiness stage.

"I've had great conversations with a variety of stakeholders; they all are really excited about getting together and figuring out how to build something that's really useful to the community and can be potentially useful to other similar communities in the region."

Officials are also asking residents to add their cell phone numbers to the county's "One Call Now" system, another important element in the county's new emergency response network.

Bill Goodman, Public News Service - KY