Clayton officials seek emergency preparedness partners



The Clayton County Board of Health is seeking help from different organizations, groups, churches, and agencies in the community to help improve communications, and responses to disasters and other emergencies.

The officials say they want to make sure they are able to reach, and help, the total population of the county, regardless of cultural and language differences, ethnic affiliation, age, disability or socio-economic status.

The health board is creating four emergency preparedness coalitions to elevate health-related disaster responses. They are: The Mental Health Coalition; the Vulnerable Populations and Shelters Coalition; the Healthcare Coalition, and the Business-Public Coalition.

These coalitions are being advertised as an initiative to make Clayton County better prepared to face such disasters as tornados, fires, terrorist attacks, health pandemics, and hazardous materials situations.

“Partners the [board of health] is seeking include local businesses, churches, volunteer and relief agencies, health-care and mental health providers, senior centers and retirement facilities, and groups working within specific cultural [and] language segments,” said Board of Health Spokesperson Joel Hall, in a written statement.

Hall said the county’s health board will hold introductory meetings for groups on Nov. 2, at the Clayton County Board of Health Comprehensive Health Facility, located at 1117 Battle Creek Road, in Jonesboro.

Those interested in joining the Mental Health Coalition will meet from 9 a.m., to 10:30 a.m., while the Vulnerable Populations and Shelters Coalition meeting will be held from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m. The Healthcare Coalition meeting will last from 1:30 p.m., to 3 p.m., and the Business-Public Coalition meeting will take place from 3:30 p.m., to 5 p.m.

Officials from the Clayton County Board of Health’s Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response are overseeing the coalition effort, Hall said.

The health board spokesperson later added that the board is hoping to “recruit as many organizations and businesses as possible for this effort.”

Among the benefits the board is touting in coalition advertisements are: the opportunity to build a “trusted, nonpartisan coalition that is focused on the greater good of the community;” the chance to share expertise and resources; the ability to develop other service organizations in the community, and the chance for businesses to educate their employees about emergency preparedness.

Call (678) 610-7467, or send an e-mail to duggerf@dhr.state.ga.us, to register for any of the coalition meetings.