Carter County officials explain protocol for responding to community requests for help during dire times of need

ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL) – Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey is speaking out about how the county helps people in need. The mayor’s comments follow backlash on a popular Facebook page which issued request to help people during last week’s below freezing temperatures.

Area business owners answered the call from the Elizabethton/ Carter County TN Facebook Page, pitching in opening their doors as drop off locations for specialty items like blankets and food, many people took to social media questioning why the county remained idle.

News Channel 11 took those community concerns to county Emergency Management Director Gary Smith who told us local government agencies have strict guidelines to follow and typically respond and help people during declared emergencies or crisis.

“The real determining factor is the scope of the event, how many people are impacted, and how long,” Gary Smith said.

Smith also told me that its best for those who need help with paying bills to get in touch with non-profit agencies that provide those services for other needs like dire needs for shelter then call 911.

“That way they can dispatch a responder to go check on them and from there we can determine what that individual or group needs,” Smith said.

County mayor Leon Humphrey echoed the EMA director’s sentiments, “We want to help, we we want to do everything that we can and I just want the community to know that.”

He said while last week’s cold snap was not a state of emergency county leaders worked with people in the community to help people who reached out requesting help.

“We were trying to help the non-profits and the faith-based organizations and do everything that we could so that they could serve,” Leon Humphrey said.

The mayor and county EMA Director said as a result of this most recent outcry for help, area non-profits and faith-based organizations are working together with the county to collectively respond to requests for help in the future.

Copyright 2018 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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