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New partnership enhances local emergency management and preparation

In Newton, Iowa, a new partnership was formed to ensure the community is prepared in case severe weather strikes causing extended power outages or widespread property damage. The partnership includes Jasper County Emergency Management, City of Newton, Newton YMCA, American Red Cross and Alliant Energy.

When severe weather hits, it’s important to be ready, especially as severe weather events occur more often.

Government officials and decision makers rely on action plans at the local, state and national levels in response to severe weather events. When these plans are created, community leaders must consider the frequency of these events and their impact on the lives and ecosystems within their community. Considerations like where to house displaced people after a tornado or how to test the safety of drinking water following a flood.

It takes a huge effort involving several different areas of life such as transportation, construction, sewer maintenance, emergency response services and many more. Communities we are proud to serve are already working to enhance their emergency preparedness.

“During the extended power loss following the derecho, we were able to assist facilities with vulnerable populations on a very limited basis. We soon realized we needed a better plan for future events,” said Josh Harding with Jasper County Emergency Management.

Through this partnership, the Newton YMCA was chosen as a shelter area that would have a generator backup.

That’s where Alliant Energy came in. When our Grinnell Operations moved buildings in 2019, we had a generator that needed a new home. In other words, we were looking for an opportunity to donate it to a good cause. According to Matt Hansen, Manager – Customer Operations, this seemed like a great fit.

“Donating the generator for the shelter area benefits the community. We are proud of this partnership and the efforts to better prepare for emergencies caused by severe weather while we remain focused on ensuring safe and reliable service to our customers,” said Hansen.

With this partnership, there is now a designated space in Newton for the American Red Cross to set up, staff and run a shelter following a natural disaster. And due to proper emergency planning, our communities will be able to properly respond to keep residents safe.

Grant Barton is a Communications Partner with a passion for sustainability and eco-friendly city planning. He has a diverse background in engineering, politics and international communications and hopes to apply this experience when writing and breaking down complex topics related to Alliant Energy's Clean Energy Future plans.

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