Houston County EMA begins preparing for potential storm next week

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — With Hurricane Michael still fresh on the minds of many the focus is shifting to how to best prepare for a hurricane that could hit in the early to the midpoint of next week.

“Any time that there is a hurricane or a tropical storm we go ahead and we always check with our other counties, national weather service, national hurricane preparedness, as well as the state emergency management and we all come together and start getting ready at least 96 hours out,” said Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management Agency Director, Chris Judah.

Judah says there is a checklist the EMA departments go through to ensure preparedness starting 96 hours before and planning goes until the moment of an event. The checklist includes communication methods being intact, and emergency personnel being ready.

“We’ll have police, fire, EMS ready to go as well as our road and bridge crews, department of transportation, anyone else that we need ready, our hospitals will be on standby so in case there is an impact form a storm like this we will be ready,” Judah explained.

Houston county EMA is also preparing for the event that there are evacuations from other states or counties since they usually come through the Wiregrass.

“Try to have a plan but a plan always has to be ready to be changed, so we tend to respond rather than to react so we go ahead and plan, plan, plan, and if we have to change it we are ready to do that,” Judah said.

The goal is to keep the public informed with accurate and authenticated information from local news, the National Weather Service, and the National Hurricane Prediction Center. Judah has a few suggestions as we head into prepping the storm.

“As the weekend ends, and we get into the first of the week go ahead and gas your car up, keep your phone charged in case we have any power outages, your flashlights, things of that nature just make sure everything is up to date. Have a plan, check on your neighbors, your elderly, your pets, know that in case there is power or we have flooding or anything of that nature that you are prepared,” Judah said.

As Chris Judah mentioned, the best way to prepare is to have a plan in place. He also suggested purchasing a weather radio and nonperishable foods.

For the most up to date weather information keep up with our First Alert Storm Team, and download the WDHN storm team app on your phone.

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