Genesee Co. leaders, public brainstorm solutions to winter emerg - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Genesee Co. leaders, public brainstorm solutions to winter emergency woes

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(01/30/14) - This winter has been a tough one and we're not even into February yet.

Snow, ice and wind kept Genesee County crews from doing their jobs and delivering food and medical supplies during these storms - but the public is helping leaders figure out a solution so next time, it's not so brutal.

Leaders from across the county met with neighbors to see what they struggled with during these winter storms. Their goal is to do better next time.

"Who better to assist you than somebody who you went down to the voting booth and you voted them into office," said Barbara Griffith-Wilson, after the meeting.

Senator Jim Ananich, County Commissioner Brenda Clack and a panel of emergency experts asked the public to speak up about their winter storm problems.

A big question from the crowd was why did no one call a state of emergency for Genesee County, and who's responsible for that?

The panel said it's up to the County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jamie Curtis to declare an emergency, and many think he should have.

If the state approves a declaration of emergency, they have the power to grant that county money to help them through their struggles.

The panel's goal is to come up with a solution to all of this and help neighbors find the resources they need in an emergency.

They talked about the 211 referral hotline, a number you can call any time and the county will help you find food, housing or utility assistance.

Many had never heard of this.

That's what these leaders want to fix - more communication can save lives.

"I think that communication needs to be improved, communication will be easier to improve than money, I mean obviously I'm going to request some," Ananich said.

This panel plans to meet with the public again on Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. at the Genesee County Administration Building.

That's when they hope to start forming this emergency plan.

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