Jeremy Slinker

Kentucky Emergency Management Director Jeremy Slinker. (Kentucky Today/Tom Latek)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Following the tornado outbreak in western Kentucky last December and eastern Kentucky’s historic flooding in July, Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Thursday the formation of a permanent group to deal with those types of emergencies.

During his weekly press conference at the Capitol, the Governor said he has signed an executive order to establish the Council for Community Recovery and Resiliency.

The group will have representatives from several state and federal agencies ranging from local government, health and family services to transportation, infrastructure, housing and more. With support from Kentucky Emergency Management and Military Affairs, this group will meet and provide leadership and guidance for community recovery and resiliency planning across the state.

“The last 12 months have been full of challenges,” Beshear said.  “It’s clear we are experiencing an increase in natural disasters, with major impact on our families and our communities. I’m combining efforts of state, local and federal actors, to be in a permanent group working together, not just to recover from these two major natural disasters we have just been through, but to prepare for the future.”  

In addition to federal, state and local executive branch officials, two members of the General Assembly, appointed by the House Speaker and Senate President, will also be members of the Council.

“We have to accept the fact that we are going to face more frequent disasters with more intensity,” said Kentucky Emergency Management Director Jeremy Slinker. “Once we accept that, we know we have to be ready. We have to be resilient, and we have to be strong. This council will allow us to all come together with our resources, our funds and our expertise and sit down in the same room to make sure we are not duplicating efforts but amplifying them.”

The two men say the long-term goal is quicker recovery, when the natural disasters strike Kentucky.

You can learn more about the Council by reading the Governor’s Executive Order.