STANFORD — Lincoln County has been designated the “most disaster-ready” county in an eight-county region by the Daniel Boone chapter of the American Red Cross.
Lincoln Emergency Management Director Don Gilliam also was awarded a “dive right in” award for his work serving as a Daniel Boone Red Cross board member.
The award and designation came during a recent volunteer and staff recognition event held by the Red Cross.
“As a board member, (Gilliam) educated elected officials, met with local business leaders, recruited other board members and increased awareness of the Red Cross in Lincoln County,” the announcement of Gilliam’s award reads.
“As a disaster volunteer, Don located and facilitated Red Cross shelter agreements and recruited disaster volunteers — making Lincoln County the most ‘disaster ready’ county in the chapter.”
The Red Cross recognition is the second award recently received by Gilliam for his work as Lincoln’s emergency management director. Earlier this year, the Kentucky Emergency Management Association named Lincoln County’s emergency management program the “most improved” in the state.
Magistrate Johnnie Padgett said he thinks Adams’ move to make Gilliam director a little more than a year and a half ago is “one of the best decisions he’s ever made.”
“I wish everything we did in this county was as good as what he (Gilliam) is doing,” Padgett said.
Gilliam said he sees the “most disaster-ready” designation as more of a recognition that Lincoln County’s emergency preparedness is improving, not that it’s already where it needs to be.
During his time as emergency management director, Lincoln has added to its number of emergency shelters, something the Red Cross likely took into consideration with its recognition, Gilliam said.
During a recent disaster training event, a scenario was used where Garrard County had to send evacuees to Lincoln County. Lincoln was able to accept up to 3,000 evacuees in the staged situation — a large number when many other counties are considered in good shape if they can accept a few hundred evacuees, Gilliam said.
Gilliam said historically, Lincoln County has been “at or near the bottom as far as donations” to the local Daniel Boone Red Cross chapter, while it also accepts the second-most money in Red Cross assistance.
That trend has slowly been reversing recently, and Gilliam said he would like to see that ratio flip completely.
“The good citizens and businesses of this county have been good about giving, but we’ve got a lot more to do,” he said.