Covid-19 Brown County Strategies – For the Record

How do you deal with a situation that can be described as Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA)?
by Tim J. Clark

For individuals and/or groups that want support in applying and testing out some improvement strategies, let me know – we are glad to help. The following link provides additional information. Brown County Leader Network Support services and planning guides. Includes guidance on conducting an assessment, and working through the best options for needed changes.

State of Indiana – 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Apr 5, 2020. WTIU/WFIU. Local Officials Want Governor To Close Brown Co. State Parks by George Hale

  •  Biddle shared fears that the uptick in visitors could be putting residents at risk of exposure to the coronavirus.  … “Please, Gov. Holcomb, do the right thing by Brown County and close the state properties — Brown County state park, Yellowwood campground — and discourage the continued unnecessary and unessential travel into our community,” Biddle said, reading from a letter the commissioners were planning to send to Holcomb

Apr 4, 2020 Video – Commissioner Biddle – Declaring Orange Travel Status

Apr 4, 2020. Brown County Travel Watch – Orange Status Declared.

  • “WATCH.” Means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a “watch” local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.
  • “I am absolutely convinced that if tourists and people are allowed to shelter in place and hunker down in guest cabins, that they will absolutely increase the numbers we have of sick people and deplete what little resources we do have,” said Dr. Norman Oestrike, Brown County’s health officer.
  • “My opinion, we are a rural county, and we need to do everything we can to protect our residents,” Oestrike said. “… There are other areas of the country that have shifted to tremendous hot spots of this disease from visitors, visitors who want to quarantine and hang out in the rental properties, the resorts, the beaches. Our demographics are such that we have a lot of older folks who are particularly vulnerable, but we have very limited resources, and if visitors come in large numbers, they expose everyone.
  • “Anyone who comes to this county can be healthy and spread the disease,” he said. “And the World Health Organization, the CDC, the Indiana State Department of Health and yours truly, your local health officer, absolutely believe that we have to stop travel and shelter at home. And home is not a tourist or guest home.”

Mar 20, 2020. Democrat. Brown County establishes Community Organizations Active in Disaster, by Suzannah Couch

County Crisis ManagementA good outline that explains a Four-Phase  Crisis Management strategy.  Crisis management refers to the process in which the government of a country or the management of an organization develops and implements a plan on how to limit the damage from a particular crisis.

  • Prevention. Planning is a very important part of crisis management.  This began after 9/11 with funding and training provided by the federal government for the “first responders” (Emergency Management  – county and state levels).  DoD also created the Northern Command (NORTHCOM).
  • Preparedness. Once an effective crisis management plan is in place, it should be reviewed and updated on an annual basis and tested periodically.
    • Includes ongoing training, certification, and participation in training exercises
  • Response. The crisis response phase is that in which the actual crisis occurs. Having a dedicated crisis management plan and team allows an entity to tackle a crisis or disaster in a calm way, thereby minimizing loss of life, property or reputation. 
  • Recovery The process of recovery from any crisis can take a long time. When the crisis is over, the focus has to shift on rebuilding, which can be time-consuming and expensive. 

Local Support  

Timeline – Facebook – Brown County Matters (BCM) 

Timeline – County Government

March 19, 2020.  Democrat, County outlines goals, policies during pandemic By Suzannah Couch

  • March 18, 2020.  Commissioner Meeting – Livestream – Facebook.
  • The county’s website, has a new COVID-19 response tab that will be updated with how the county departments will operate during the health crisis along with contact information for each department.
    • The COAD help hotline is 812-988-0001 and there is also a Facebook page.
  • Armstrong and Frost recently activated the county’s emergency management plan and they opened the county’s emergency operations center on March 13 “in an effort to coordinate the response and ensure we are prepared to assist our citizens and various public and private partners.”

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