Chambers County EMA to receive disaster preparedness grant

Published 9:00 am Friday, April 12, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Kathy Hornsby, the Chambers County Emergency Management Agency director, had an agenda item for the county commission at Monday night’s meeting. A resolution was introduced and passed to allow for state reimbursement to the agency. 

The agency received a sub-award for $1,926 for participating in the Emergency Management Preparedness Grant Program. This program provides funds and resources to local agencies to implement the National Preparedness System, which helps communities better prepare for disasters. The sub-award is a kind of small grant awarded ahead of a larger grant. 

The grant itself, which is awarded later, can be up to $34,000 and is used to offset some of the operational costs for emergency services. The resources and costs of disasters along with the day-to-day running of emergency services far exceed the reimbursement from the state.  

Email newsletter signup

“The total amount that we ever get from that grant is $34,000, and I submit over $400,000 worth of invoices to them every year,” Hornsby said.

If a disaster or emergency happens, the agency will look to FEMA and other organizations for grants. The EMGP allows offsetting a percentage of the operational costs to ensure the agency can be prepared for an event and continue running during and after the event. 

“We do that grant every year. I’ve been here 22 years and I’ve done that grant 22 years. It’s just a little bit that the state gives back for us having all the requirements that we’re supposed to have — the certifications and training — and then it just helps offset whatever we spent during the disaster or to prepare for disasters,” Hornsby said. 

The Commissioners unanimously agreed to sign off on receiving the sub-award. 

Commission Chairman James Williams quickly moved to vote on the resolution after saying, “Ms. Hornsby, this is free money for y’all’s office.”

Hornsby and Chambers County EMA will have to wait until the beginning of the next fiscal year to get the full grant. However, the sub-award was made available by Williams and the commission’s signature.