BONIFAY — While the local news displayed scenes and images from the tragedy in Oklahoma, local agencies from throughout Holmes County gathered together at this year’s Emergency Support Function meeting held on May 21 at the Holmes County Emergency Operations Center to prepare them for the upcoming Hurricane Season.
“It is unimaginable the horror those in Oklahoma are facing after such a tragedy,” said Wanda Stafford, Director of Holmes County Emergency Management. “We’ve got to think about what our roles would be if something like this would happen to us. The big question they face now is where do they go from here?”
Stafford handed out informational packets of the upcoming hurricane projections and designations for ESF.
“Upon activation of the Holmes County Emergency Operations Center, the primary agency for the emergency support functions will send representatives to the Holmes County Emergency Operations Center to coordinate activities,” said Stafford. “The primary agency determines which support agencies are required at the Holmes County Emergency Operations Center.
The primary agency for the emergency support functions will be responsible for collecting all information related to the disaster.”
According to the list the Holmes County Road Department is responsible for Transportation and Public Works; the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for Communications, Search and Rescue and Law Enforcement; the Holmes County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association is responsible for Firefighting and Hazardous Materials; the Holmes County Emergency Management is responsible for Information and Planning, Energy, Military Support and Public Information; the American Red Cross Central Panhandle Chapter is responsible for Mass Care, Food and Water and Volunteers and Donations; the Holmes County Clerk of Court is responsible for Resource Support; Holmes County Health Department; and the Holmes County Extension Service is responsible for Animal and Agricultural Issues.
“These are all the primary or lead organizations however we all help each other tremendously,” said Stafford. “This is why we all get together like this, so that everyone knows what to do in an emergency situation. This year has the highest potential for strong hurricane activity we’ve ever seen and even though high numbers have been projected and there be hardly any activity shown we still need to be prepared just in case.”