Jemison mayor would assume responsibilities during crisis

Published 2:50 pm Thursday, February 21, 2013

In the event of an emergency, such as a natural disaster, the city of Jemison wants to be prepared.

The Jemison City Council unanimously voted Feb. 18 during a regularly scheduled council meeting to pass a resolution approving Mayor Eddie Reed to declare emergency actions and powers under emergency situations for the city.

Under the new resolution, the mayor would have authority to approve decisions in the event of an emergency such as a storm, tornado or other natural disaster for the city of Jemison.

“This resolution gives the go-ahead for decisions to be made quickly in the event something terrible would happen,” Reed said. “This would allow the city to protect the lives and property of those in Jemison quickly.”

Reed would have the ability to appropriate and expend funds, make contracts, obtain and distribute equipment, materials or supplies for emergency management purposes and appoint emergency personnel to secure certain areas in the city for the safety of the citizens.

“We obviously hope nothing like this would ever happen but we want to be prepared if it did,” Reed said. “Making sure the citizens of Jemison are safe is one of our main priorities.”

Reed said typically when an emergency situation occurs, cities do not have the ability to work on private property, often causing delays in removing things such as debris.

“When a tornado comes through or you have a chemical spill from a train, you don’t always have time to wait to secure a situation,” Reed said. “You have to act quickly.”

The resolution also states the mayor would have authority to approve regulations he deems necessary such as prohibiting or restricting the movement of vehicles in order to facilitate the mass movement of people from critical areas, moving people from areas deemed to be hazardous or vulnerable to disaster and other regulations circulated through official notices through the news media and Internet.