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CEMA holds hurricane response workshop

Updated: Jun. 21, 2017 at 2:22 PM EDT
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(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Chatham County workers from nearly every department met with CEMA on Wednesday to better prepare for a hurricane after learning mistakes and successes from Hurricane Matthew.

They've separated into three breakout sessions, each having their own task. One is looking at 24 hours after the storm, one is looking at 24-48 hours after the storm, and the last is looking at 48-72 hours after. They're treating the exercise as a Category 3 storm with a direct hit, and they're tripling what they saw from Matthew including damage, debris, and evacuees. Each group will be looking at the priorities and needs for their department and essential services to bring back the general population, including water, sewage, and medical services.

South Carolina starts their process - also known as Operating Conditions Process - 24 hours ahead of us. That's one thing CEMA Director, Dennis Jones says the state needs to work on. CEMA does admit last year's stabilization strategy and evacuation processes weren't perfect.

"That stabilization strategy didn't take into account some of the other support functions that need to be recognized, so what we're doing here today is we're pulling all of those support functions together and we're asking them to identify what their top three priorities are, what are their three resource needs, and what are the top three things they need to know," Jones said.

CEMA says they're going to bring all the information back from the three separate groups, look at them, compare them to last year's strategies, and get better prepared for this hurricane season.

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