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AAC F A M I L Y & F R I E N D S


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information on how to keep a Continuity of Operations plan up to par with the Arkansas Legislative Audit, see the Arkan- sas Legislative Audit Information Systems Best Practices at http://www.arklegaudit.gov/!userfiles/editor/docs/Resources/ IS%20Best%20Practices.pdf.


National Incident Management System


Another way to be prepared for a disaster is to be familiar with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS). NIMS is a compre- hensive, national approach to incident management that is applicable to all jurisdictional levels across functional disci- plines and is intended to: (1) be applicable across a full spec- trum of potential incidents, hazards, and impacts, regardless of size, location or complexity; (2) improve coordination and cooperation between public and private entities in a variety of incident management activities; and (3) provide a com- mon standard for overall incident management. County officials may receive a crash course on NIMS after being elected, but it is up to those officials to stay on top of their training. Since county officials are elected, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does not mandate a training standard for them to adhere to, but FEMA and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) strongly recommend the following training agenda depend- ing on the level of incident management:


1. Anyone with a Response or Emergency of Operations Plan


• IS-700 – an Introduction to NIMS (3 hour course) • IS-100 – an Introduction to the Incident Command System (3 hour course)


2. First Line Supervisors • All of the above plus • IS-200 – NIMS for Single Resources (3 hour course)


3. Middle Management/Emergency Operation Center Staff


• All of the above plus • ICS-300 – Intermediate ICS • IS-702 – Public Information Systems (3 hour course) • IS-703 – Resource Management (3.5 hour course) • IS-800 – an Introduction to the National Response Framework (3 hour course)


4. Command and General Staff (Jurisdiction/Department Heads)


• All of the above plus • ICS-400 – Advanced ICS


All of the courses listed above, with the exception of COUNTY LINES, SUMMER 2017


ICS-300 and ICS-400, can be found on FEMA’s website at https://training.fema.gov/nims/. ICS-300 and ICS-400 are available from ADEM as classroom activities only. It may be difficult to carve out time, especially during the first few months in office. However, officials can get a head start on their learning by use of Ark. Code Ann. § 14-14-1207, which authorizes reimbursement of expenses for discretion- ary functions and services, including training expenses for a county official-elect if authorized by the quorum court.


County Judges Authority


A county judge’s first step in being prepared is to under- stand his or her legal authority and the extent of that author- ity. County judges must have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities for successful emergency manage- ment and incident response. One path to understanding is becoming familiar with the laws governing disasters. Tere may be ordinances that are specific to the city or the county, but there are also state laws that must be followed. Each county judge should be familiar with the Arkansas Emergen- cy Services Act of 1973 codified as Ark. Code Ann. §§ 12- 75-101 – 12-75-133. Te Arkansas Emergency Services Act of 1973 is vital to understanding the process of declaring a local disaster emergency, the requirement for local emergency management, the process of requesting mutual aid between jurisdictions, and much more. A judge’s responsibilities and duties will vary depending on whether the disaster is declared at the state level or federal level so it is vital to understand the judge’s role in both. How- ever, judges are not alone in this endeavor; their local emer- gency manager is there to help guide them down the right path. Te local emergency managers and the area coordina- tors are great assets during any emergency and they can assist newly elected or seasoned county judges through the entire disaster process.


Exercising


Maybe the most crucial step in being prepared is to exercise as often as possible. ADEM offers various different training exercises, including natural disasters, disease outbreaks, social disruption, and technological disasters. By Sept. 21, 2017, ADEM will have conducted 82 exercises within a one-year period (from Oct. 5, 2016 to Sept. 21, 2017) throughout the state of Arkansas. Former Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson knows first-hand how beneficial these exercises are. Dodson was appointed to the position in January 2013. Just over a year after being appointed, an EF4 tornado tore through Faulkner County, flattening a subdivision, crippling


See “EMERGENCIES” on Page 20 >>> 19


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