Local News

Wilson Not Certified, But Ready for Storms

Posted June 1, 2007

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— Eight years after floodwater from Hurricane Floyd inundated Wilson County, the county still hasn't been certified as storm-ready. But local officials said they're well prepared for another storm.

Wilson County officials review emergency response plans and double-check equipment before the start of every hurricane season. Last fall, local emergency workers completed advanced National Incident System Training.

"It helps everyone from the top to the bottom and bottom to the top and brings our preparedness and response together in a very organized fashion," said Terry Barber, director of the Wilson County EMS.

The National Weather Service offers a volunteer program to help communities get better prepared. Thirty-eight North Carolina counties have been certified as "storm ready," including many that surround Wilson County.

Wilson County hasn't gone through the certification program. County Manager Ellis Williford said the county would eventually take the program, but officials wanted to to focus on other national disaster training programs first.

"Our emphasis has been prepared for anything, not just a storm," Williford said. "We take preparedness very very seriously."

County officials said Wilson is prepared for the hurricane season.

"(We're) as prepared as we can be under the circumstances. Of course, it's just a constant vigil. You never let down your guard," Barber said.


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