On March 23, 2020, the Emergency Management Coordinator fully activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The Emergency Operations Center is designed to support emergency response, business continuity, and crisis communication activities. Staff meets at the EOC to assist the Emergency Management Coordinator manage preparations and the respond to this ongoing incident. The objectives of the EOC are:
• Maintain situational awareness;
• Closely monitor and assess the impact on County continuity of operations, local communities, healthcare systems, and the economy;
• Provide logistics coordination and support to include continuous resource needs assessment and procurement for fire, law enforcement, healthcare and County staff;
• Support public information and crisis communication efforts;
• Ensure tracking and documentation concerning personnel costs and essential items purchased; and
• Obtain and provide guidance surrounding the re-opening of Antrim County.
While the EOC is still in response mode, it is also beginning to look forward to recovery. To that end, the EOC has begun work how to re-open the county. The EOC has partnered with the Antrim Economic Development Corporation (ECD) to create the Antrim Promise. The Antrim Promise is a plan intended to guide county and local governments, businesses, and residents through pandemic recovery. It will include analysis, recommendations, and templates for use in our recovery. The plan will have no direct authority, nor will it regulate government or employer policies. The recommendations will only act as guidance; it is an expression of Antrim County’s Promise to its residents to lead our county and its people through pandemic recovery into a safer, stronger future.
To remain viable, the plan must be consistent, but retain the ability to adapt as we move forward through recovery the recovery process. Now is the time to consider ways to adapt to the “new normal.” The Antrim Promise will combine the best of our communities, residents, and businesses by providing them with a forward-looking framework that will coordinates our efforts to create a more resilient County, stronger communities, and a more robust economy.
The Antrim Promise is a three-part recovery plan that will:
1. Guide municipal government employees and elected officials as they work to re-open government
2. Assist with county-wide economic recovery efforts in ways that would support development of
consistent procedures in local businesses that would keep employees and visitors safe, healthy, and
comfortable as we adjust to our “new normal.”
3. Provide guidance and resources to community organizations such as schools, libraries,
churches, and other non- profit organizations that are critical to regaining a sense of normalcy in
the post COVID19 future.
The EOC has met with representatives from local units of government to develop a plan to assist municipalities through the recovery process. EOC staff has provided “Recovery Starter Packs” that include PPE items such as facemasks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. A template to develop and implement a reopening and preparedness plan has been developed and will be included as part of a toolkit that will go out to the local units and be posted online. The toolkit will include information and recommendations from the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, the State of Michigan, the Centers for Disease Control, and municipal associations such as the Michigan Association of Counties, the Michigan Municipal League, and the Michigan Township Assoication. To address the needs of local governments as they reopen to staff and constituents will be key to re-opening local government in a safe and healthy manner.