EMA plans for the worst and hopes for the best weather

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As the cold rain showers move through the area, the major players from all over the Tri-State region met in the Emergency Operations Center.

News 12’s Ashley Henderson was there to learn about how emergency responders are planning to deal with potential flooding or wind damage.

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Because the ground is already saturated, and streams and creeks are swollen from recent rains, officials want to be proactive in planning how to handle flooding and possible weather related emergencies this week.

CHRIS ADAMS, DIRECTOR, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT HAM. CO.
“We have a list of past events that’s happened here, we keep all that data, of streets that flood, so we can look at those, make plans for those, areas that we’ve evacuated in the past, not saying that that’s going to happen, that this may not be a major flood event as initially it was looking like, so we’re thinking that right now, we want to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

They are also assessing equipment and trained personnel so they know what resources they have available, when they do need to respond.

“We want to know all the resources available, not anything that’s out of service, so what they’re doing in there today, is we’re getting a resource list of every person that is trained, every type of swift water boat, any water rescue equipment we want to know about because it’s water that we’re worried about.”

But they’re not only worried about flooding.

“We’re worried about wind as well, so we’ll be looking at chainsaws, being able to clear streets, keeping the power open, what the school systems need to do, so – the hospitals, making sure that people can get, in and out.”

The officials are also helping to coordinate disaster relief agencies after the storms have passed. The Red Cross will provide temporary shelter, and the Salvation Army will provide food, and clean up kits when any flood water recedes.

MARK SMITH, AREA COMMANDER, SALVATION ARMY:
“You can predict some of the areas where something might happen, but a lot of it is unpredictable, and so to be ready, to have everybody on standby.”

Right now, all the professional first responders and volunteers are on standby.

In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.

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