The Rebuild Iowa Commission issued its final report Monday and one of the key recommendations says the state should invest in and better coordinate local and regional emergency management agencies. Commission chairman and Iowa National Guard Major General Ron Dardis says many of the local agencies are not equipped to handle the kind of disasters that hit Iowa this spring and summer.
"I would say, overall, we are very pleased with the response throughout the state," Dardis said. "But what we did find is that not all counties have emergency coordinators. Some coordinators cover multiple counties, some have different duties and some are part-time."
The report suggests that the state seek resources to adequately fund the work of the local emergency management agencies. Mike King, who served on the commission, is President of the Iowa Association of Counties. The Creston resident says a number of counties simply don’t have the money to pay for a full-time emergency management coordinator.
"We feel very strongly that there should be some form of emergency management at the county level, it just has to be…funded by the state and federal government, at least help," King said. The report also suggests the state compile a summary of the required and expected responsibilities of county emergency management agencies. King says many local coordinators are need help.
"The federal and state government both mandate so many different reports, preparedness plans, mitigation plans and those types of things that are cost-prohibitive to small counties," King said. "In larger counties, usually there are dollars to be found somewhere…it just makes it a stuggle and we just want the legislature to be aware of that." The recommendation regarding local emergency management agencies is just one of 12 outlined in the commission’s report, which can be found online at the Rebuild Iowa website .