EMA, local agencies participate in statewide drill for preparedness

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 11, 2017

Covington County EMA officials this week participated in a statewide exercise to test the county’s preparedness.

“We had approximately 50 to attend the meeting and exercise, and I would like to thank each department and agency that attended and for their willingness to work with the emergency management agency,” EMA Director Susan Harris said.

Harris said that Covington County was fortunate last hurricane season not to have any major tropical system impact.

“However, we must be reminded that Covington County is still vulnerable to hurricanes and the need for preparedness,” she said. “Storms cost some people their lives and cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage. Because awareness is key to public safety, Covington County EMA encourages the citizens of Covington County to get prepared now. It could save your life.”

Harris said that before a hurricane strikes, residents of Covington County should review preparedness plans and don’t wait.

“Be prepared with supplies for up to 72 hours of food and water,” she said. “There is no way to predict when a major hurricane will strike. You should be able to make quick decisions regarding where you will go, how you will get there, what you will take, and when you will leave.”

Harris said that safe shelter is the most important part.

“Please make plans now, if you do not have live in a safe place find a safer place now,” she said. “We do not have pre-hurricane shelter in the county. Plan now to go to a family member’s home, neighbors’ or check to see if your local church will be open. Do not go to public buildings for shelter.”

Harris said that after 72 hours, if supplies are needed, the county will request items from the state.

“If resources such as water, ice, MRE’s and tarps are available the items will be at three locations in the county to pick up,” she said. “These location are: Andalusia – Kiwanis Building; Opp, Ace Hardware Parking lot and Florala at the Volunteer Fire Department.

Harris said anyone who needs help getting prepared may visit the EMA office at 272 Hillcrest Drive or call 428-2670.