ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An updated community wide disaster mitigation plan has been approved by Dougherty County leaders.
Now, Albany leaders are reviewing it.
Emergency officials say taking a hard look at where our community is most vulnerable, and making sure first responders are prepared, will help save lives.
On Friday, a 25 gallon fuel spill at a gas station in Albany was relatively small. But with hazardous, flammable material, the consequences could have been disastrous.
"We train our responders constantly on responding to emergency situations, especially hazardous materials," said Dougherty County EMA Director Ron Rowe. Making sure that first responders are trained properly is something Rowe considers to be very important.
"We will take the history of what's happened in our community over the last five years. Very seldom does it change here locally, but ten years ago drought was number one, this year it's severe weather," explained Rowe.
Severe weather is our region's most common cause of disaster, the most recent being the high water during the Christmas holidays.
"So we have steps we know we have to do when we know water is coming and that minimizes the mistakes we will make and speeds up the process for protecting the public," said Rowe.
Emergency officials say finding out the most common disasters and preparing a detailed response for each one protects the community in many ways.
"It allows us to get funds and be eligible for funds should we have a disaster," explained Mayor Dorothy Hubbard.
"Of course we are human we are going to make mistakes along the way, but if we have a plan to follow it minimizes those mistakes," said Rowe.
The countywide disaster mitigation plan is approved every five years. County leaders approved it on Monday, the city is expected to vote on the plan next week.