Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene - Press Release

All of Essex County's normal routine was disrupted this weekend by Hurricane Irene. Following an Emergency Management briefing on Thursday the county's emergency plan went into operation. County agencies were represented and explained their preparation. A shelter was scheduled to open at 10:00AM on Saturday and it was closed at noon on Sunday under the able leadership of Sue Swann and served 101people. The Emergency Operation Center at the sheriff's office was open on Saturday at 8:00AM.

The center is the operational brain for a very diverse group of services to serve Essex in time of emergency. In and out of this center are county leaders and volunteers. Coordinators such as Larry Smith and administrators such as David Whitlow were present most of the time. The center is connected to emergency workers by phone and radio. The center provided coordination for law enforcement, rescue, fire and others. The public was informed of changing events and safety warnings by public information personnel by utilizing the local radio stations.

People who work in emergency services are particular critical of themselves in any operation but Larry Smith was pleased with how smoothly the counties response went. Dave Whitlow on Sunday was already into recovery mode making plans for clean up.


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