Local News

State Leaders: N.C. Is Better Prepared for Next Storm

Posted September 14, 2000

— A year after the worst flooding in the state's history, emergency management officials say they are better prepared for the next storm.

Pallets loaded with supplies in a Wake County warehouse are part of the state's efforts to stay ahead of any storm. The plan includes water, food, cots and generators, all purchased as a result of Floyd and all ready to be shipped across county lines at a moment's notice.

"With every disaster, we gain resources," says Doug Hoell withN.C. Emergency Management. "With every disaster, we gain more things we can carry out to assist local governments."

One way to assist local governments is to make sure emergency personnel can mobilize and move quickly.

"Incident Command" is the code name for a new program to coordinate all of the state's rescue efforts from one location.

"We can get trucks, we can get humvees, we can get boats, we can get helicopters into [disaster areas] as quickly as possible," Hoell says.

A new computer software program was designed and installed for county-to-county communication, and if all power is lost, workers can turn to satellites to power their phones.

While there will always be room for improvement, the state is confident the lessons learned from Floyd have given their operation a sharper edge.

"I think we've built a good, hard-working team that can go forward and do the things that are necessary to do," Hoell says.

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