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* News Release *
Thursday, April 22, 2010
For Immediate Release

New PODs Program Coordinates Local Disaster Relief

Road crews from the Butler County Engineer's Office have been selected to participate in FEMA's new local "Points of Distribution" program, also known as PODs. The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has developed the program to help local counties better facilitate commodity distribution during times of emergency.

"Our crews teamed up with members of Butler County EMA recently for special training geared specifically to local needs," said Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens. "We continue to make significant strides since the big windstorm of September 2008 and our Office is happy to be part of the solution. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Butler County EMA on this project."

Facilitated by Butler County EMA Director Jeff Galloway and Safety Director Utah Bailey, the PODs program emphasizes centralized locations where the public picks up life sustaining commodities following a disaster or emergency. Supplies are delivered to these distribution points which can accommodate drive-thru vehicle traffic, walk-thru pedestrian traffic, and mass transit traffic such as bus or rail. The Butler County Fairgrounds was picked as the central POD and the Engineer's Office, with its experienced public works staff and close proximity to the fairgrounds, was a logical choice to partner with EMA in times of emergency.

Training consisted of setup and break down procedures, proper site layout, time and resource accounting, equipment inventories, and general safety procedures. Traffic patterns have also been planned to promote smooth traffic flow into and out of the POD area.

Volunteers are welcome, according to Galloway, as workers are needed to help staff the Butler County POD. "Any organization wishing to help staff work shifts for our POD are encouraged to contact us," he said. "We are looking for assistance from community groups, churches, scout troops, and anyone else who has a desire to help in times of crisis." The contact number for Butler County EMA is 513-785-5810.

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For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849
Jeff Galloway, Butler County EMA Director - Phone 613-785-5810

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