The pandemic forced quick changes to how the Emporia City leaders and staff went about their daily business. Hurricanes, power outages, or downed communications systems can equally wreak similar havoc.
Emporia Emergency Services Coordinator Mike Rae presented the Continuity of Operations Plan to the City Council to have a template to work from should disaster arrive. The plan received unanimous approval, 7-0, from the City’s governing body.
“The COOP is meant to give us a place to start, and I think we all know the cliche that at least now we have a plan to deviate from,” Rae said. “That’s really what the COOP gives us, and we are going to start paying more attention to it with department heads.”
Rae and City Manager William Johnson have been working out the COOP details for a few months. Rae said it is not a plan set in stone.
The COOP will continue to change as employees cycle in and out, and buildings change for City workers. Rae said he would constantly keep the City Council in the loop as the COOP changes.
Councilman Woody Harris said the City is prepared for disasters. However, he is pleased to see a guide to work from and giving direction to City leaders and staff.
In other action:
—The Council approved a resolution to adopt Ligon Drive as a City-owned Street.
—It also gave the go-ahead to the Virginia Peanut Festival group’s request to have a fireworks display.
— Vice Mayor Clifton Threat adopted three resolutions on behalf of Mayor Carolyn Carey for September. The City of Emporia recognizes September as National Preparedness Month, National Suicide Prevention Month, and Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
The Emporia City Council is scheduled to meet again at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 21, in the Council Chambers in the City’s municipal building.