Crisis Be Gone: Meet the Emergency Manager
You might call County Emergency Manger Alex Jakubowski a good friend to have in a tough spot. Chances are, you have never met Alex, because he works behind-the-scenes to handle local crises. Or maybe, if you were one of the hundred-odd people rescued off the roads in the recent cyclone blizzard, you benefitted from Alex's handling of the county’s response.
The Office of Emergency Management supports large incidents like wildfires, tornadoes, blizzards and floods. "We focus on the secondary effects these types of emergencies cause," Alex says. "For example, sheltering a large number of people that had to evacuate or coordinating the wide spectrum of resources involved in the recovery from a large scale disaster."
After finishing his last overseas deployment with the US Army and attending graduate school at the University of Denver for Homeland Security, Alex moved to Elbert County. "This position was exactly the job I was looking for, in the area my wife and I wanted to relocate to," he says. "We found a great house on 10 acres in southwest Elizabeth. I spend my spare time with our two Chesapeake Bay retrievers and love participating in a variety of shooting competitions. I truly enjoy the open space and the peacefulness of the country. Thankfully, Elbert County was willing to hire me and give me this opportunity."
He has worked in this position for 2.5 years. "My biggest challenge [at work] is that emergency management incorporates a vast number of responsibilities," Alex says, "from training staff to function in the County’s Emergency Operations Center to educating the public on emergency preparedness. Successfully addressing all of these responsibilities as a one person department can be incredibly challenging."
Fortunately, social media and its widespread effectiveness in alerting people to potential danger has made Alex's job easier. With so much information right at our fingertips, county residents need to take more responsibility for being aware of what is going on around them. You can avoid potential hazardous situations by staying current on things such as weather forecasts. There are dozens of weather apps like www.wunderground.com and www.weather.gov to help you monitor hazardous weather in your particular area.
A great resource for road conditions on state highways/interstate highways is CDOT’s www.cotrip.org. The most effective tool the Emergency Manager's office has to quickly alert residents of an emergency is the CodeRED notification system. Everyone should verify that they have a subscription with CodeRED and are receiving notifications via email, voice and text. If you would like to subscribe to CodeRED, please visit www.elbertcounty-co.gov/code_red.php.