Kentucky emergency management agencies tracking resources to fil - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky emergency management agencies tracking resources to file for aid

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Emergency management workers in Hardin County have been working around the clock this week and many have been sleeping at the office. Emergency management workers in Hardin County have been working around the clock this week and many have been sleeping at the office.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- When Kentucky's governor declared a state of emergency this week, dozens of counties followed suit. Hardin County is one of about 60 counties in Kentucky trying to get help from the state and even the federal government.

Hardin County's Emergency Management Director, Doug Finlay, has been so busy from the winter weather this week he hasn't been sleeping. Finlay says crews have been working so hard, many are sleeping at the Emergency Management facility because of winter weather.

Luckily, the building has built in sleep rooms that look much like a small dorm room, so many people are staying overnight. They've also rolled out a few cots.

"When [Kentucky declares] of a state of emergency, counties have the option to declare also," Finlay explained. He says about 60 counties made a declaration. 

"What that does is, it opens up the lines of communications for us (the counties) to request state resources, national guard people, trucks, fuel, whatever we need that we've gone beyond our resources." Some counties have enough resources and may not make a declaration.

County officials will carefully track every expense in order to be able to ask the state for help. The counties that have declared a state of emergency will only be considered for aid if they meet a certain threshold for their county. 

The same goes for the state. If the state meets a certain need, it can ask for a Presidential state of emergency. 

"Then the government can send up a letter of declaration to the president and the president takes a look at it and they decide up in Washington whether we warrant one. And if they do then that opens up the money from FEMA to reimburse the counties and the state on what they've spent," Finlay explained.

He also said declaring a "state of emergency" isn't meant to create widespread panic. 

"Somewhere along the lines, someone has said that since we declared a state of emergency locally that it was like martial law, stay off the roads and things like that, that's not the truth. We're just telling people, be cautious," said Finlay.

Counties that have declared a state of emergency will be tallying all of the resources they have used for this winter storm and sending to the governor as soon as they can.

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