COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC/WIS) - Gov. Nikki Haley placed the state's Department of Motor Vehicles' director in charge of coordinating disaster relief efforts from this month's floods between government agencies and nonprofits helping out.
In the new role, retired Army Col. Kevin Shwedo, who has led the DMV since January, 2011, will lead Team South Carolina's long-term recovery operations in counties designated as major disaster areas in the wake of statewide flooding.
Haley says Shwedo can apply the customer service skills used to improve the DMV to his new role.
"When it comes to response, when it comes to recovery, when it comes to logistics, and when it comes to people, there is no one better who I can think of to be my point person than Colonel Shwedo," Haley said. "This is about making sure that we continue the expeditious way that we have moved forward – not only coordinating with FEMA and not only with our state response, but we have to do it in a way that we are going into the communities and touching the people."
She also says his military background will help in coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"The key is getting on the ground and finding out what's needed," Shwedo said. "I've gone out and visited all 67 DMVs, and I found out what needed to be fixed. My job is to go out and start talking to the county councils, and the mayors and the people served and do everything I can to go ahead and rectify the issues we've got."
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Shwedo was the Deputy Commanding Officer of the United States Army Training Center at Fort Jackson. He retired from the United States Army on Feb. 1, 2011 with 32 years of service.
Haley says by shifting Shwedo from the DMV to disaster relief- no state tax dollars are being spent.