About a dozen emergency staffers from Illinois are headed to New York City to relieve their counterparts who have responded to Hurricane Sandy. They are local-level personnel being briefed and processed Thursday morning at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s operations center in Springfield. One of those headed east is the Macoupin County emergency management coordinator.
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“We’ll do basically the same thing in New York that I do at home,” says Jim Pitchford. “Managing resources and getting help to people that need it.” Speaking of the New York professionals, IEMA director Jonathon Monken says, “Not only are they working all day, incredible hours, but these are people who are personally affected by the disaster. Their families, their homes. And they’ve had to forgo being able to assist those people within those lives to make sure the greater good is served.” Not only will the visiting crews – from up to 20 states, Monken believes – give the local people a breather, but the outside help will be able to do their work without worrying about their home front.
Monken says the assistance is coming through an emergency management assistance compact, under which New York will pay the expenses.