Houston County Disaster Preparations

By: Clarissa Stephens Email
By: Clarissa Stephens Email

Houston County officials are looking to adopt a seven point plan to organize and distribute supplies in the event of a disaster.

Chairman of the Houston Co. Commission, Mark Culver says, "What we're gonna’ be doing on Monday is adopting the disaster distribution plan and what it does is lays out exactly how we would get supplies to the citizens of Houston County should we have a disaster."

Culver says a lot has been learned from the enterprise tornado disaster and the county is doing everything possible to plan ahead. “It's good to have a plan so you don't have to start reinventing the wheel when a disaster strikes,” he said. “You've already got a document that tells you what to do."

The plan works in conjunction with the state to provide commodities, such as food, water, and tarp to 40 percent of Houston County's population within the first 72 hours of a disaster.

It also includes detailed steps for the staffing and organization of seven distribution points within the county.

The Houston County Farm Center is just one of the predicted distribution sites under the proposed distribution plan. But officials say the locations can be adjusted at any time depending on where the disaster strikes and how much help is needed."

EMA Director Clark Matthews says, "We use a template that the Army Corp of Engineers had developed from past hurricanes and it's a solid workable plan."

Matthews says one of the biggest problems during the recent tornado tragedy was communication between rescue and emergency personnel.

He believes this new plan will help improve communications and ensure residents get help quickly and efficiently. "We're looking at every avenue in Houston County to cover,” he says. “There are 50 point modes of operation and questions that the state asks and we're making sure that Houston County has addressed every one of those points.”

Dothan Mayor Pat Thomas says the city also has disaster preparation plans in place.

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