Mayor pro tem Al Edwards signed the Georgia Emergency Management Agency-Homeland Security Statewide Mutual Aid and Assistance Agreement during the last City Council meeting Monday, Feb. 27.
According to GEMA, the purpose of the agreement is to provide for mutual assistance between all cities and counties who have signed the agreement. It gives the municipalities assistance in any emergency or disaster that is duly declared an emergency by any governing authority or political subdivision that participates, whether arising from natural disaster, technological hazard, man-made disaster, civil emergency aspects of resource shortages, community disorders, insurgency or an enemy attack.
With the ever-unpredictable weather Gordon County has witnessed, the agreement keeps Calhoun eligible for assistance, according to Calhoun City Administrator Eddie Peterson.
“The agreement is about our continued partnership with GEMA and our willingness to be part of the overall plan,” explained Peterson. “We give up some of our independence, but make it up a hundred fold on assistance from GEMA, FEMA, and other city and county members.”
Now, when a natural disaster hits the city, Calhoun will be ready.
“We can now count on assistance during times of disasters, support when we call other members, and certain grants, which require being part of the team,” said Peterson.
According to the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), assistance includes personnel, equipment, facilities, services, supplies and other resources furnished to requesting party (municipality or county who asks for assistance), pursuant to this agreement during an emergency or disaster.
Also, under this agreement, there are “participating parties,” meaning other cities or counties of the State of Georgia that have also signed the agreement, and will provide assistance, if asked, according to GMA.