JEFFERSON — Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has refocused the energy of Jefferson County’s emergency management office in 2020 and 2021, according to its director, Donna Haugom.
“We spent many weeks organizing, ordering, separating and distributing personal protective equipment for firefighters, EMS, long-term care facilities, hospitals, nursing homes and many other facilities that provide care for their clients,” Haugom told the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors this week.
Haugom also thanked Amy Listle and her Jefferson County Fair Park for providing space for the distribution.
“We worked regularly with the Wisconsin National Guard, coordinating and setting up COVID-19 testing sites. We also thank Kevin Wiesmann from the Jefferson County Parks Department and Paul Vogel at the county’s health and human services office,” she said. “None of this would have gone as smoothly as it did if not for them.”
Haugom said her department’s plan of work with the state puts Jefferson County in a safer place and it received its grant funding, “accordingly.”
In its ongoing effort to mitigate flooding near Lake Koshkonong, Haugom said the county continues to buy and remove structures in that area’s flood plains to address life safety and to reduce property damage.
“Emergency management continues to work on many plans to help improve our response to an emergency or disaster,” Haugom told the county board. “Some plans include debris management plans, volunteer management plans, creating damage assessment teams, developing an emergency fuel plan and donations management plan. ... There is much to accomplish to complete the duties of our office and with only 1.6 employees, we continue to have our work cut out for us.”
Haugom’s long term objectives include encouraging and assisting citizens to be better prepared with their own emergency plans; creating a donation management plan; creating a volunteer management plan; continuing with the establishment of a debris management plan; fostering public/private partnerships within Jefferson County; mitigation by acquiring additional properties in the floodway and floodplain and encouraging emergency operations center readiness.