Bryan County EMS prepared for hurricane season amid pandemic

Bryan County EMS prepared for hurricane season amid pandemic

BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Hurricane preparations are well underway in many counties, but preps are looking a lot different with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although last year, Bryan County didn't get hit too hard by hurricanes, Bryan County Emergency Services Director Freddy Howell says this year will be much more challenging when it comes to evacuation plans and figuring out where to house evacuees safely.

“It’s very complex and nobody has a good solution for it,” Howell said.

As Bryan County Emergency Services continue to be on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, hurricane season is now creating another challenge left for them to figure out how to be prepared just in case.

“We did a virtual hurricane exercise drill and we actually built a website and we had hurricane Milo and we had over five days of hurricane preparedness with the virtual website. We sent it out every day and then we had a hotwash at the end to see what we did well and what we did bad and lessons we can learn from it,” Howell said.

So far, Howell says they have had weekly conference calls with EMA directors, GEMA and other county officials about evacuation plans, the public works department has also been working around the clock to clean ditches and canals to help with flooding.

"The challenge is going to be how are we going to transport them, we're going to have separate transportation buses or equipment to transport them and then where are we going to house them? Where is the shelter going to be? Is it going to be broken down into components or different stations? Is there going to be a COVID unit that's going to be separate?"

Even still, he says there are still a lot of questions looming.

"Everybody moves inland and that's just going to put everybody together, well the six foot distance and staying apart especially in a shelter situation. What are we going to do when everybody gets in a shelter?"

Howell says they encourage everyone to have their own plan in place now to stay ahead of the curve.

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