FEMA, Homeland bosses meet in T'ville - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

FEMA, Homeland bosses meet in T'ville

May 2, 2006

Thomasville -- Hurricane season is just one month away. Despite all of the criticism over Katrina's response, The Secretary of Homeland Security and FEMA Director say this year they're ready and prepared.

The two met at the Federal Regional Center in Thomasville today, to demonstrate part of FEMA's Mobile Emergency Response Support system.

Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and Acting FEMA Director David Paulison inspected six different pieces of the Thomasville Mobile Emergency Response Support system.

What they saw today makes them say they're ready for hurricane season. "This tour makes me very confident we're ready for this hurricane season," said Secretary Michael Chertoff. "It makes me confident that we have the equipment we need to be inter-operable. It makes me confident that we have the people who are ready."

The capability demonstration allowed them to witness Thomasville's unique communication capabilities, allowing state federal and local responders to communicate through the use of this tent. "What we witnessed with our own eyes, Chief Paulison and I, is we do have inter-operability, we do have the capability to match a lot of different systems a lot of different frequencies together through the equipment that you see in these trucks," said Chertoff.

The assets in Thomasville paired with local and state assets will allow FEMA to be better armed. "Now what we need to do is train first responders in the various localities in the different states all the along the coast how to work with that equipment how to use their radios to plug in."

So that the communication problems that occurred with Hurricane Katrina, don't happen again.

Thomasville's Mobile Emergency Response Support system is only one of six centers nationwide.

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