Marshall Countyâ€™s Emergency Management Agency Director, Clyde Avery was the guest speaker at Millerâ€™s Assisted Living last Tuesday afternoon. By the size of the audience, emergency preparedness is a topic that many find interesting.
Avery began his presentation with a brief history of his career life and how the EMA was formed. Avery has 22 years experience with the Plymouth police Department. So his background has included quite a bit of background in emergency response. After his retirement from the police force he applied for the directorship at the Marshall County EMA and was hired in 2006.
Avery reminded everyone of the Civil Defense from days past. The Civil Defense was basically created to protect Americanâ€™s from nuclear attack during WWII, etc. The Civil Defense finally died out and every town just sort of took care of itself. Then in 2001 when the terrorist attacks took place in New York it was evident that Americans needed to have a more advanced way of communicating and coordinating response to an emergency of such magnitude. That is when Homeland Security developed plans and supported organizing local EMAs across the country.
The EMA is designed to help in times of emergency including tornadoes, floods, violence, fire, hazardous material spills, gas leaks, pandemics, and other such catastrophes. Averyâ€™s job includes coordinating with other emergency agencies such as the fire, health and police departments when emergencies arise. He also helps private agencies and businesses make their emergency and evacuation plans.
The audience seemed very interested during Averyâ€™s presentation and they asked many questions. Avery shared with them things they should have on hand in case of an emergency and he also talked about where to keep important papers and health information. When asked what he saw as Marshall Countyâ€™s number one emergency situation, Avery answered without hesitation. He sees the threat of tornadoes as our number one emergency and number two would be being prepared for a hazardous material spill.
It was apparent that Avery takes his job seriously. The safety of his fellow Marshall County citizens is of utmost importance to him. He also urged anyone that needed information about emergency preparedness to feel free to call his office.
Photo: EMA Director Clyde Avery points out information on his Emergency Preparedness board to Millerâ€™s resident Gary Ross.