Sunbelt Ag Expo ready for crowds, emergencies - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Sunbelt Ag Expo ready for crowds, emergencies

MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) -

Crews preparing for the 37th Annual Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition say they are ready for crowds, and staffed for emergency situations.

Around 25,000 people are expected to visit the Expo on its opening day Tuesday.

Officials preparing for the annual event said with severe weather possible, they have an emergency plan in place.

Officials drew up their first emergency plan in 1978, and have been adding to it ever since with input from GEMA, the GBI, FBI, and EMA officials.

"You hope you never have to use it, but if you have to use it, we're ready to execute it to the 'T,'" said Executive Director Chip Blalock.

Spence Field has 15 permanent buildings that are storm shelter rated. The Georgia State Patrol Mobile Command Center will be on hand, monitoring and able to announce over loud speakers for the people to take shelter.

"We have four buildings down the center, that you can take shelter in," said Blalock. "We have our Family Living Building."

The buildings are huge, able to shelter large numbers of people. Literally thousands of people could shelter inside the two hangars at the old air field, that have stood up to the weather for a long time.

In addition, crews said they have an anti-terrorism plan in place. In an emergency evacuation, red arrows around the entire Expo show people where to leave for safe areas.

"If we have a full blown evacuation, these perimeter arrows take them to the perimeter area, which is where it's a safe haven if something was to happen," said Blalock.

The Expo runs October 14-16 about 4 miles southeast of Moultrie.

More than 1,200 exhibitors are expected to display and demonstrate products to visitors of the 100 acre show site.

Admission is $10 per person per day.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.

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