Marshall County EMA Requires Greater Cooperation in Grant Reporting

The Emergency Management Agency in Marshall County may soon have more stringent grant reporting requirements.

Most grant funds received by the EMA Department have been expended according to Director Clyde Avery. He supplied Commissioners with a quarterly report during Monday’s meeting.

Avery says the new requirements, however, come from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

“Basically it’s going to be a capabilities-based assessment,” says Avery. “That means we have to, in a nutshell: identify what our current capabilities are, where we would like to be, and what gaps are there specifically when it comes to training, exercises and equipment.”

The new reporting requirements may make it more difficult for the EMA to complete their grant submissions. Not following the requirements will make it difficult to become eligible for new grants past Emergency Management Agency Performance Grants. New rules begin in 2016.

For example, if an emergency event occurs and Marshall County EMA is found to have gaps in its communication systems, a corrective action plan would need to be developed. Future grant submissions will be judged based on an assessment of those plans.

Avery says it’s a better way of doing things, but will require more cooperation from county agencies.

“I can give you a rough idea of what our gaps are, but that’s just my opinion as EMA Director,” says Avery. “It’s not necessarily what some of the other departments have identified as what our gaps are.”

IDHS has implemented the measures as a way of enforcing greater accountability. The Marshall County Commissioners took no action on the matter.