County EM office releases 2022 stats

Published 5:30 pm Monday, January 2, 2023

The Lafayette County Emergency Management has released its 2022 end-of-the-year statistics for the county. 

The total number of weather warnings issued for Lafayette County for the year was 34. All warnings were issued by the National Weather Service in Memphis. 

These warnings include: three tornado warnings, 18 severe thunderstorm warnings, three flood warnings, one flash flood warning, three excessive heat warnings, one winter storm warning, three freeze warnings, one wind chill warning, and one high wind warning. 

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The county responded to six search and rescue deployments, 10 mutual aid calls to other agencies, and seven Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) drone missions.

In addition to its overall responses and warnings, the Lafayette County EM office was awarded grants from FEMA and Homeland Security for a total of $408,582.85. 

The Lafayette County EM held nine public awareness presentations during the year, in collaboration with Boy Scouts of America, Lafayette County Upper Elementary, Oxford Boys and Girls Club and the Lafayette County Technical Center. 

“This year has had its own sets of challenges but we are thankful and proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Lafayette County EM Director Steve Quarles said. “We’ve been able to obtain multiple grants for Lafayette County and this has allowed us to acquire more assets to be better prepared for any emergency.”

Quarles is also very positive about this upcoming year, as the office added another staff member and started planning for other essential committees. 

“We’ve also added a public information officer to our office, continued to build upon the Long Range Planning Committee and started the groundwork for a Local Emergency Planning Committee,” Quarles said. “We have several things we are looking forward to in 2023.” 

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency also released its 2022 statistics. In its year in review, the office responded to 19 weather events and one federal emergency declaration (Jackson Water Crisis). 

The Jackson Water Crisis resulted in 13.9 million bottles of water delivered to residents, seven  state water distribution sites, 14 EMAC states represented, with 600 guardsmen deployed. 

The state spent 1,839 hours in the MEMA call center, 6,741 overtime hours worked by employees, and closed 370 FEMA Public Assistance projects. The office also taught 107 emergency management courses.