Savannah, Chatham Co. leaders attend conference to prepare for hurricane season

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 5:04 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Hurricane season begins on June 1st.

Chatham Emergency Management Agency hosted a hurricane conference Tuesday with several leaders. This is their first in person conference in three years after the pandemic put it on hold.

“They are happening more and more frequent and we have to prepare for them more and more frequent.”

People with the City of Savannah, Chatham County, the Health Department and many other organizations sat in on several workshops. The topics ranged from what local officials need to do when a hurricane is on the way to how to go about re entering our area when hurricanes are over.

“We look at the whole community. It’s not just police, fire and EMS. It’s businesses, it’s hospitals, it’s functional access and medical needs. It’s public works. The list goes on and on so we want to make sure that everybody is ready to support each other,” said Dennis Jones, the Chatham Emergency Management Director.

Evacuation in case of a hurricane is always a concern. Georgia Emergency Management Agency Director Chris Stallings says his colleagues were also there to brush everyone up on how evacuations should be planned.

“Our home bound patients, our senior living places, our nursing homes, our hospitals that need to be evacuated. So we take a lot into account when we’re deciding who needs to leave,” said Chris Stallings, the Georgia Emergency Management Director.

One session led by Naomi Williams with Exceptional Living 101 is informing community partners on how to make evacuation as smooth as possible for people with disabilities. She encourages people with special needs and their families to prepare now with a list.

“Not everybody is going to able to have extra medicines to be able to take with them. Being able to start with a list of the medications you take, your specialist,” said Williams.

The Coastal Health District also has a hurricane registry for people who need assistance evacuating.