Programs Administered

Abby Watkins
Emergency Services
  • 306 North Street, PO Box 885
    White Cloud, MI 49349
    M-F 8am-5pm
  • (231) 689-7354
    (231) 689-7305

Public Safety Grant Administration

The Emergency Services Department administers and manages all emergency management and homeland security programs, projects, grants, and resources.  In addition, provides support to numerous grants delivered directly to community public safety agencies. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG)
  • Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP)
  • Local Hazardous Materials Planning Grant (HMGP)
  • FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants
  • US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act of 2000 Title III Wildfire Mitigation Funds
  • National Forest Service Cooperative Forestry Wildfire Mitigation Projects
  • Federal Disaster Declaration funding coordination under the Robert T. Stafford Act; State Emergency Management Act; and Newaygo County Emergency Management Resolution

Local Emergency Planning Team (LEPT)

The Emergency Services Department manages the Local Emergency Planning Team, which is the County’s primary emergency coordination committee. This committee is comprised of critical government, public, and private entities that are jointly tasked to ensure a communicated and coordinated approach to local emergency/disaster operations. The committee is responsible for: 

  • Ensuring emergency/disaster coordination from critical entities including:  9-1-1, Fire Services, Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, Public Health Organizations, Human Services/Welfare groups, public utilities, and other community officials
  • Serving as the multi-agency coordination committee required under the following programs:  SARA Title III Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC); Homeland Security Grant Program Local Planning Team (L.P.T.); Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA2K) Hazard Mitigation Committee; Homeland Security Exercise & Evaluation Program (H.S.E.E.P.) exercise committee
  • Providing formal advisement to Chief Elected Official and Board Of Commissioners on community emergency/disaster related issues from all involved agencies

Emergency Planning

The Emergency Services Department is responsible for maintaining the county’s emergency plan. The purpose of the Newaygo County Emergency Operations Plan is to save lives, minimize damage, and enhance emergency response operations during any incident within Newaygo County.  This plan sets forth the emergency response organizational structure and management system under which Newaygo County will operate. It describes how different government and non-government entities will interact with each other to respond effectively during any disaster or emergency situation. In addition, this plan assigns various emergency objectives and responsibilities that may need to be performed when circumstances call for response and recovery measures outside the realm of normal operations.

Site / Hazard Planning

In addition to the County’s Emergency Operations Plan, there are several different site specific or hazard specific plans which have been developed to meet various legislative requirements and help protect emergency responders at those sites as well as the surrounding community. The Emergency Services Department ensures these plans conform to the County’s Emergency Operations Plan and build on response capabilities to ensure an additional level of safety at high risk areas. These plans include but are not limited to:

  • Local Support Emergency Operations Plans
  • Continuity of Government / Operations Plans
  • SARA Title III 302 and 312 Hazardous Materials Site Plans
  • Muskegon River Dam Failure and Flooding Evacuation Response Plan
  • White River Dam Failure and Flooding Response Plan (City of White Cloud)
  • Newaygo County Community Wildfire Protection Plan
  • School Site Safety Plans
  • Newaygo County Jail Safety Plan
  • Newaygo County Governmental Campus and Courthouse Safety Plan
  • Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital Site Safety Plan

Resource Management

Newaygo County Emergency Services Department maintains and manages community resources for capability to support local emergency/disaster responses.  Vital resources include:  personnel, equipment, facilities, services, and information. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Managing vital equipment that is utilized jointly by community agencies including: the Nixle alert & notification system, the MPSCS radio system, Incident Command Unit, and the Emergency Operations Center
  • Maintaining a database of resources to ensure the ease of use during emergency/disaster situations as required by the National Incident Management System (NIMS)
  • Maintaining use agreements and mutual aid agreements to ensure critical resources are available when needed
  • Using existing information (i.e. capability assessments) to facilitate the establishment of new resources that support emergency/disaster capability

Hazard Management (Analysis & Mitigation)

The Emergency Services Department maintains the Newaygo County Hazard Management Plan, which combines the Newaygo County Hazard Analysis with the Newaygo County Hazard Mitigation Plan. This document has been developed in conjunction with representatives from the State of Michigan, local governments, involved public safety agencies, affected businesses, and interested members of the public. The plan provides the process for evaluation land use and development in Newaygo County from a hazard mitigation perspective, which will protect lives and property in the community. The intent of the hazard analysis and mitigation plan is not to limit development, but to ensure that all development avoids the possibility for damage from natural, technological, and man-made hazards to the extent practicable.

The Emergency Services Department is also responsible for coordinating implementation of the Hazard Management Plan through completion of hazard mitigation projects such as improving equipment, hazard elimination/removal, and land use planning. One key area of focus is wildfire mitigation. Through development and use of the Newaygo County Community Wildfire Protection Plan, the Emergency Services Department has been able to leverage over $582,000.00 in federal grant funds to reduce hazardous wildfire fuels in high risk neighborhoods adjacent to the Huron Manistee National Forest.

Public Education

The Emergency Services Department maintains an ongoing education program to keep citizens and local community entities knowledgeable about emergency preparedness activities, resources, and recommendations through use of public presentations, education materials, websites, media articles, and other methods. This includes but is not limited to: 

  • Management of community outreach program that facilitates regular public emergency preparedness campaigns aimed at increasing community emergency readiness through media articles, websites, presentations, and education materials
  • Providing community information during local, state, or national emergencies

Training and Exercises

It is a proven fact that improved performance directly results from training. Newaygo County Emergency Services coordinates through the Local Emergency Planning Team to maintain an ongoing training program for key officials and responders that have been assigned emergency management responsibilities.  This program consists of the Emergency Services Department and Local Emergency Planning Team sponsoring regular training courses focused on functional and hazard specific topics. 

Although training is critical, it is also important to recognize that practical experience is equally crucial.  In addition to participating in ongoing training activities, officials and responders apply their skills regularly through ongoing emergency management activities such as capability assessment, emergency planning, hazard analysis, and exercising.


When an incident occurs, local police, fire and emergency medical services, and public works crews are typically the first to respond. They initially assess the situation, determine its nature, scope, magnitude and anticipated duration, and determine if additional assistance is required. Additional departments/agencies may become involved depending on incident conditions. If the incident escalates to the point where coordination among several departments/agencies are involved and the incident requires extraordinary coordination, expertise, and resources, the Emergency Services Department will active.

Newaygo County’s Emergency Management program is assigned to coordinate response measures in accordance to the procedures, resources, and responsibilities described in the Newaygo County Emergency Operations Plan.  Depending on the scope of the situation, Newaygo County Emergency Services will initiate 1 of 3 defined levels of response: Advisory, Activation, or Emergency.  In any case, emergency response within the jurisdiction will involve the application of accepted principles such as:

  • Use of the national incident management system and incident command principles such as unified command, span of control, common terminology, unity of command, resource management, etc.
  • Use of multi-agency coordination centers including an emergency operation center, joint information center, etc.
  • Use of the jurisdiction’s emergency plan to direct the jurisdiction’s personnel, resources, etc.

Volunteer Management

In accordance with the National Preparedness Goal, and understanding the importance of a well-trained cadre of volunteers during times of disaster, Newaygo County has incorporated the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), and Emergency Management Support Team (EMST) programs into its Emergency Management System. One of the roles of the Newaygo County Local Emergency Planning Team (LEPT) is to serve as the Newaygo County Citizen Corps Council, providing the oversight for the CERT and MRC programs. All volunteer programs are administered by the Newaygo County Emergency Services Department and the Newaygo County Emergency Services Volunteer Coordinator serves as the Coordinator for CERT and MRC.