With 1 month to go, emergency agencies practice for hurricane season

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hurricane season is just one month away. Emergency officials are getting a head start on possible storms by putting their training to use in a simulation drill in Wilmington.

In the simulation, the fictional Hurricane André is bearing down on New Hanover County. The Category 3 hurricane is eerily similar to Hurricane Fran, but following the same track as Hurricane Hazel.

“We can expect significant damage in New Hanover County based on this scenario,” New Hanover County Emergency Management Director Warren Lee said.

That’s why the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was filled with people at their computers, on phones relaying important information to those working outside to keep residents safe.

During this simulation, everyone is doing what they would normally do if this was the real thing.

Agencies from the city and across county took part in the exercise. They say it’s important to practice, because it helps them work out the kinks.

“You find all kind of little bugs in the system,” Wilmington Fire Department spokesman Battalion Chief David Hines said. “We have WebEOC, where everybody can get on there and know what everyone is doing, see the significant events and updates. Able to work out bugs and make improvements every time you do it.”

New this year, all the public information officers will be in one room, making it easier for us in the media, to pass along information to you.

FEMA along with county emergency management will hold another simulation in a couple months. That one will practice what would happen if there were an emergency at a nuclear power plant.

Today’s simulation of Hurricane André was named after Assistant County Manager André Mallette, who retired yesterday after working for the county for more than 30 years.

Categories: New Hanover

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