Emergency managers study for disaster - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Emergency managers study for disaster

Judy Gourley Judy Gourley
Chris Jones Chris Jones
THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Do you think first responders have the equipment and manpower they need to keep you safe if a major storm hits?

Tuesday Leaders from several counties met to analyze their emergency resources.

A major hurricane hits Florida, forcing thousands of people to evacuate to south Georgia. As the storm moves north, damaging winds and heavy rain affect us.

"What would we do, and the resources we have. Are we prepared for major flooding in Southwest Georgia?" asked Program Manager Judy Gourley.

This is the scenario that South Georgia officials faced at an All Hazards Council Tabletop Exercise in Thomasville.

"What if this happened in my community? How would I, as the Police Chief, or I, as the Fire Chief, or EMS, how would I respond? Do I have the capabilities I need and the resources? And if I don't, how can the state assist me?" Gourley asked.

Officers from all sectors of law enforcement gathered here at Thomas County Emergency Operations Center to discuss strategies before the storm hits.

"One of the largest things that we'll gather from or benefit from an exercise such as this is being able to network with all those different disciplines at one time in the room," said EMA Director Chief Chris Jones.

And you can see just by walking through the parking lot, license plates that represent almost all 23 counties in the South Georgia region. Proving that it is truly a combined effort when it comes to protecting the community.

"That's how we manage, and how we prepare and respond to events in southwest Georgia. Relying on our neighbors and knowing who we can call for what situation," Jones said.

GEMA and Homeland Security organized the event to close gaps between what resources are available and those needed for an effective disaster response.

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