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EMA Hurricane Meeting

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

Hurricane season begins in less than a month. Local officials are urging everyone to be prepared. In Tuesday’s meeting, they discussed topics ranging from mental health care to hurricane evacuation routes.

It was the largest meeting of emergency management agencies this region has had in years.

It was all about finding ways to improve response after last year's hurricane season.

After having a very active hurricane season in 2005, the National Hurricane Center in Miami is expecting much of the same in 2006.

So with only weeks of planning left, Alabama’s region two emergency management agencies are putting their heads together.

EMA, Regional Coordinator Pete McGough said, “What we're doing is reviewing plans, we're going through a step-by-step sequence to see what we'll be doing during certain time periods--such as 72 hours prior to landfall."

There are ten counties in region two. All of which were represented.

Along with several ideas were discussed ranging from medical needs, sheltering issues, and implementing distribution centers which would supply, food, water, medicine and gasoline.

"I worked for a month down in Bayou LaBatre and that were some of the major problems in the first 2-3 weeks, being able to get gas to move around food to homes, a lot of food and water was brought to us," said Brown.

One of the main issues discussed was how to work together as a community.

"There were several points brought out today that I wasn't aware of. Several different agencies; we need to work closely with that we haven't been working with in the past. Our mass-care teams should meet more often. So there are some good points that have been brought out," said Margaret Mixon, Geneva County EMA Director.

With a lot of the ideas brought up will be implemented for the first time ever this year.

The biggest thing most counties will implement will be the distribution centers. They will be central locations where those within the county can go for a one-stop-shop to get supplies ranging from food, water, medicine and even gasoline.

Emergency management officials also want to stress the importance of self-preparedness.

Make sure you have enough supplies to last you and your family for at least 72-hours after the storm.


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