October 24, 2005
Planning for a disaster in Augusta, officials from a variety of public agencies are joining forces just like they would do in a real emergency. News 12 is on your side to show us the Q&A.
As Hurricane Wilma cuts across Florida, officials locally gather at Fort Discovery to analyze their own emergency response. The verdict, all reports are positive. Augusta, officials say, is ready should disaster strike.
“We are very well prepared here in Augusta. We’re fortunate to have a great healthy system here, a great support system with emergency management agencies,” said Sarah Walker, East Central GA Health.
Officials fear a hurricane like Wilma could inch through Georgia’s coast and up the Savannah River. With 100 people in the crowd, everyone from the sheriff’s office to the Salvation Army laid out their role and offered some advice.
“You need to plan different routes in case one route is blocked. You need to have a plan of where to meet in case you cannot get back to your home,” said Kathleen Kosmoski, Red Cross of Augusta.
One man expressed concern that his neighborhood, Goodale Landing, has one way in and one way out. Officials reassured him a plan is in the works to make a second way out.
And others asked questions about the train wreck and chemical spill of last January that killed nine and forced the evacuation of thousands. Congressman John Barrow, who hosted the town hall meeting, said stronger tank cars should be required. And, he says, local authorities need to know when chemicals roll through town.
If you live in Augusta and have questions or concerns about emergency preparedness, contact your representative on the Augusta commission.