Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Bernalillo County – At tonight’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, Commission Chair Art De La Cruz would like fellow commissioners to consider creating a reserve disaster relief fund. The fund would set aside $200,000 from the county’s general fund that would be given in grant form to local Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs).
The proposed administrative resolution will authorize the county manager to establish procedures to support local Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster in the case of a local declared disaster in Bernalillo County. VOADs like the local Red Cross, Salvation Army and other non-profits could receive disaster relief money from the county if the organizations run out of resources while assisting the local community during a disaster.
New Mexicans join others throughout the country who continue to support East Coast communities that are still rebounding from Superstorm Sandy. Assets and private donations to local charities are also redirected to a disaster area, such as Superstorm Sandy, which diminishes local resources.
Commission Chair Art De La Cruz wants to make sure Bernalillo County is taken care of if a disaster strikes here at home.
“It is important that, as Americans, we support and help out where there is a need in our country,” says Commissioner Art De La Cruz. “But on a county level, that can sometimes mean that we put ourselves in jeopardy. This reserve relief fund will be an assurance that that never happens.”
Local disaster relief agencies support the residents of Bernalillo County by providing basic necessities in comfort and care at times of extreme duress; they manage shelters, provide food, and other relief efforts to affected citizens.
A local declared disaster is identified by the county’s emergency manager, then acknowledged and approved by the county manager. The commission chair has the ultimate authority to declare a disaster in the unincorporated area of Bernalillo County.
A local declared disaster occurs when all local resources have been fully depleted and there is literally nothing left to provide help to the residents.
The Board of County Commissioners meets tonight at 5 p.m. in the Vincent E. Griego chambers at the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center.
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