Arkansas gets emergency management grant

CONWAY, AR – The command center is staged at the Conway Expo.

The scenario: A major earthquake has just hit the state and thousands of people are affected, so the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management calls on volunteers from outside the state to come and help out. The goal is to check them in as quickly as possible to get them to work. 

The $50,000 Emergency Management Assistance Compact grant makes the exercise possible.

Local emergency management agencies are practicing how they would check in and out volunteers who’ve been dispatched to the state. The volunteers will have to stop at a number of stations to get ID cards, learn about the area they’ll be sent to and undergo a de-briefing session to make sure they’re emotionally stable before they head home.

Arkansas joins a number of other states who are recipients of the grant.

“One of the things that we really want to do is make sure we take care of the responders we bring in from out of state. We want to make sure that we know when they arrive, able to track back with them via their home states to make sure they’re okay on a daily basis and know when they leave the state,” Carol Walton said.

The participants in the exercise also filled out surveys. Members of the state emergency management agency will go through them to see what they need to correct to make sure they’re ready for a real disaster.

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