DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - As Hurricane Irma continues its path toward the U.S., communities across South Georgia are making preparations.
Sebon Burns, the Deputy Fire Chief and Deputy EMA Director for Dougherty County, shared the plans that the EMA has so far.
What is being done by Albany and Dougherty County?
All of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) representatives have already met and been briefed on the current situation and are ready to activate the EOC. We will have a better idea of when to activate the EOC once the hurricane makes landfall in Florida. Crews have been cleaning storm drains and gutters to prevent flooding. The utility department has stocked up on tools and equipment to be able to respond. The rest of the department is making sure they have adequate personnel and vehicles are completely fueled up.
Has the governor declared a state of emergency?
Are there any planned evacuations?
All of Chatham County and all counties east of I-95 are under a mandatory evacuation, I-16 will contraflow which means both sides of the highway will be flowing west beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
What about shelters?
Right now we are not planning to open shelters for local residents. At this point, if any shelters are opened it would be for evacuees from other areas.
What can people do to prepare themselves?
Make your family emergency action plan, decide where to meet inside the structure, decide where to meet if you have to evacuate the structure, have plenty of water, have flashlights, batteries, and a weather radio.
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