Local representatives ready in case of severe weather

WATKSINVILLE, GA – Law enforcement and emergency services from 24 surrounding counties met today to practice responses to real-life weather situations. The exercise assessed agencies’ ability to make decisions and prepare for when winter-weather hits Athens-Clarke County.

Today’s event was held at the Oconee County Civic Center and was organized by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA.)

“The biggest thing about this event is planning,” said the Chairman of the Oconee County Board of Commissioners. “It’s planning for any particular type of disaster that may occur but primarily they are focusing on ice storms.”

The exercise utilized hypothetical situations to describe events before/during a storm that could impact Athens-Clarke county. Participants discussed protections, response, mitigation, and recovery for each hypothetical event.

GEMA facilitates an event like this in Athens-Clarke county about once every four years in order to determine what resources and how many can be brought to particular areas during emergencies. The last time GEMA hosted an event in Athens it was to prepare agencies for in the event of an explosive device. Today was the first practice for winter-weather.

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