Emergency manager preps Kiwanis Club

The Iola Kiwanians heard from Jason Trego, emergency manager for Allen County.

Around Town

March 7, 2024 - 2:31 PM

Jason Trego

Most of the work associated with emergency management takes place before and after a natural disaster rather than during the event itself, Iola Kiwanians were told Tuesday.

Jason Trego, emergency manager for Allen County, spoke to the club at its weekly meeting about various aspects of his work. Emergency management is usually considered in five phases, he explained: Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.

“‘Response’ is what people usually think about with emergency management,” Trego said, “but it’s said to be about 90 percent or more prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and recovery and 10 percent or less response.”

Some examples of those four elements that fill his day-to-day duties are:

• Community awareness, such as the Storm Fury on the Plains program that was scheduled Tuesday night at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center

• Storm siren testing

• Planning and placement of storm shelters

• Planning and exercises with various local, state and regional emergency response agencies, schools, fire departments and the like

• Grant research and application to fund emergency management

• Weather monitoring and reporting through social media and Code Red service

• River monitoring for flood preparation

• Disaster declarations and local expense reimbursement processes

Trego shared a recent development that is expected to improve area weather forecasting and storm preparation. Allen County currently is served by weather radars in Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita, Tulsa, Okla., and Springfield, Mo. 

The center of those five stations is a little east of Humboldt, and the distance and slope of the earth creates a “dead spot” in weather forecasting for this area. A private business is putting a weather radar in Humboldt, with plans to sell information and data to weather stations and services, which will result in more accurate, immediate weather information for Allen County, Trego said.

“Hopefully, that will close that gap of information,” he said.

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