Lincoln receives disaster grant

September 28, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Lincoln County school officials hope a federal grant will help improve their schools' safety policies in the face of natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

A $95,295 federal disaster planning grant was awarded to the Lincoln County Board of Education, earmarked for developing disaster plans in Lincoln schools and surrounding communities. The grant was annnounced last week by the office of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

"The focus of the grant was community involvement, and they (the schools) had a lot of that written in their grant applications," said Superintendent Teresa Wallace. "The schools will get assessments, maps and aerial photos out of (the grant)."

Wallace believes Lincoln County schools were awarded the funds because they were one of the few to apply and the application focused on community involvement when creating emergency plans.


The grant will help pay for schools to organize mock disaster drills, bringing together police and fire departments to practice a variety of emergency plans for worst-case senarios.

A press release from McConnell's office said the board hopes to bring together the schools, community members and local agencies to craft a comprehensive disaster plan that includes prevention, preparation, response, and recovery strategies for emergencies.

"This will help us prepare a plan in the event of a disaster, natural disaster or terrorist," said Eva Stone, Lincoln County school health coordinator and grant director, "which was something we had identified that we needed to do."

According to Assistant Superintendent Karen Hatter, the money will pay for aerial maps of the 11 schools in the county, maps of the buildings, crisis response backpacks for teachers, and emergency response flip-charts for every classroom.

"For example, a gas pipeline runs close to the high school and middle school, and so we would prepare a plan for if it explodes," said Hatter.

"This will help the Lincoln County Board of Education better protect over 4,000 students, faculty, and staff members at schools throughout the county," McConnell said.

Emily Burton can be reached at

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