MOUNT VERNON — Rick Dzik, interim director of the Knox County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), held a meeting Wednesday to review the county’s response to the June 29 storm that produced heavy rain and winds up to 80 mph. Government, city, and emergency action coordinators discussed strategies for communicating critical information to the public quickly and efficiently.
Dzik reviewed the storm’s aftermath with representatives from city and county government, law enforcement, Red Cross and fire departments.
In addition to the wide-spread power outages, generators failed to adequately support police department’s radio communications, and battery backup that supported the 9-1-1 system also posed a problem.
Those immediate response concerns were followed by a summer heat wave while local businesses without power were unable to supply food, fuel and supplies.
How to get information out to residents quickly during an emergency was the most important conversation at the meeting according to Dzik. “First and foremost,” Dzik said, “is working on good relationships with all of our media partners.”
Yet another venue for disseminating information is the 2-1-1 Crisis Hotline and Information Center Pathways of Central Ohio. They serve Knox and Licking County and are supported by the United Way.