GIS staffer named to NKY emergency response planning committee

Kathy Stephens GISP, an associate GIS specialist at PDS was appointed a member of the Northern Kentucky Emergency Planning Committee (NKEPC) during the group’s January meeting.

In making the appointment, Rodney Bell, Safety Manager for Sanitation District No.1, stated, “It’s great to have a PDS representative on board. It will provide additional capability and credibility for our three-county region.”

Stephens believes that PDS can be of great support to the organization and its goals. LINK-GIS and the mapping services it provides to both Kenton and Campbell Counties is an invaluable resource to those who must respond when emergencies strike the three-county community. Several services provided include: creation of large wall maps of fire hydrant locations, customized hydrant information based on gallons per minute (GPM) data, map books, crime site maps, analyzed data and installed stand-alone mapping programs within the trucks for several local fire departments.

PDS staff also assist Kenton County emergency services manager Steve Hensley with selecting locations for new emergency warning sirens. In the aftermath of the 2012 tornado that struck southern Kenton County, PDS’ GIS team assisted in the recovery process by providing products to aid in surveying the damaged structures for assessment of the storm severity. 

In support of that role, senior GIS programmer Christy Powell, GISP, is developing a mobile app that will allow inspectors to capture field data and directly link them to a FEMA document for easier submittal processing.

In 1986 Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act also known as the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA Title III). NKEPC was created from that federal legislation as a federally-mandated entity composed of state and local officials, business representatives, and members of the media.

NKEPC members come from local emergency responders, industry, government, education, media, and community groups. The group’s main function is to provide joint emergency planning, training, and public outreach. 

Out of Kentucky’s 120 counties, NKEPC is the only emergency planning group to serve a multi-county area. The other 117 counties in the Commonwealth have individual local emergency planning committees.

The Northern Kentucky Emergency Planning Committee is administered through the Boone County Emergency Management Agency.