EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWS911 RESPONSE
from Eyewitness News Online
Cabell County Credits Preparedness For Storm Response
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Jul. 9, 2012 6:17 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 9, 2012 6:34 PM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
They say preparation is a big key to success.
Cabell Huntington Health Department public health educator Elizabeth Ayers says, "We are planners here in Cabell County."
That's why the health department, 911 center, EMS workers and other first responders meet with plenty of other city and county agencies in Huntington and Cabell County each month for drills and homeland security meetings.
Ayers says, "We try to prepare for things like this, and I know that sounds bad, but honestly it is just getting people prepared and that's what we have to do as a community."
So when disaster did strike, and in a big way, with recent storms we had all over the region, those agencies can work together quickly and efficiently. Ayers says, "We just got out our plans and were able to call all our contacts and make it work."
They set up a temporary emergency operations center at the 911 center, got a shelter set up at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, as well as other community cooling stations and fire departments and churches.
Cabell County 911 director Mike Davis says, "We know the names to put with the faces, so that when something does happen, we know who to call and what they can do for us and what they can't do for us. So that worked out real well for us with our emergency operations center this time."
They'll continue to have those planning sessions to make sure they're ready to go again if and when the next disaster strikes.
Now there are still about 1,300 power outages as of about 6:30 Monday evening, but luckily there was not a lot of new or extra damage reported in the last round of storms from this weekend. They are still working with the power company to fully restore power to the rest of the county.
Davis also says the communication between other 911 agencies throughout the last week and a half has been tremendous.
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