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Hearing set to discuss NEMA Tell North Platte what you think

Video conference sites will allow residents near Ainsworth and Chadron to weigh in on a Nov. 1 Legislature committee meeting about the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.

The hearing will be held in Lincoln to examine the powers, duties and disaster response of NEMA.

State Sen. Al Davis introduced LR 341 – an interim study to include but not be limited to the following issues: the adequacy and timeliness of NEMA responses to local and regional emergency disasters during floods in 2011, wildfires in 2012 and recent hazardous material incidents; assessment of the adjutant general's $10,000 spending authority; policies and procedures used by NEMA to educate and train staff at local agencies concerning emergency protocols; improvement of communications among and between participants during emergency mutual aid events; the creation of Nebraska-based incident management teams to respond throughout the state and serve as emergency resources; and the potential benefits of Nebraska joining other states in the Great Plains Interstate Fire Compact.

“LB 634, the Wildfire Control Act, was my priority bill in the 2013 legislative session. The law it created divides responsibility for wildfire management between the Nebraska Forest Service and NEMA,” Davis said. “During preparation for floor debate on LB 634, questions arose about the effectiveness of NEMA's response to 2011 floods in eastern Nebraska and 2012 wildfires in western Nebraska. Under LB 634, NEMA would continue to play a role in future wildfire management, so I introduced LR 341 to examine the adequacy and timeliness of NEMA's responses to local and regional disasters.”

The hearing will be conducted by the Legislature's Government, Military and Veteran's Affairs Committee from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Central Time. on Nov. 1. The primary hearing location is Room 1525, State Capitol in Lincoln.

Video conference sites are:

• Ainsworth Public Library, 5th and Main Street, Ainsworth, NE.

• Chadron State College, Old Administration Building, Room 031, 10th and Main Street, Chadron.

“On Nov. 1, I look forward to hearing from Nebraska residents about our Emergency Management Agency's performance during the 2012 wildfire season and how the agency might improve its service to our state in the future,” Davis said.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/18/2013
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