Augusta, Georgia – Hurricane Season is in full swing and for many of you, memories of Hurricane Floyd back in 1999, and the rush of evacuees to the CSRA, comes to mind.
As we see more activity in the ocean, especially this week, I asked Augusta’s Disaster Preparedness Coordinator what happens when evacuees come to the Garden City and what -we- should do– if the weather does go downhill.
“So we are a location or hub that could see a lot of evacuees” said Mie Lucas, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator for Augusta- Richmond County Emergency Management.
It’s been over a hundred years since a significant storm has made landfall along the coast of Georgia, but when the threat comes the people head here. The CSRA is ready with 22 certified facilities for people seeking shelter from the storm.
“We activate them based on location. So if the storm hits down in downtown Augusta we activate somewhere near there like May Park one of our city facilities, but it is all based on where the emergency is happening. So we don’t publish that information in advance. We wait to make it most convenient for the citizens about where to find shelter, ” Lucas told News Channel 6.
Lucas says Emergency Management is still monitoring the storm, but major like I-20 and Highway 25 are designated Evacuation Routes for people coming to Augusta.
Along with the possibility of evacuees- the Augusta area has seen its share of storm effects in the form of heavy rain, flooding and high winds.
As part of an emergency preparedness kit, people are encouraged to have supplies at home in case a hurricane does hit. Things you can find at your local grocery store including batteries and a flashlight, matches, OTC medication and several gallons of water.
“We have on our website what should be in your emergency evacuation plan if you need to evacuate your home or what should be in your emergency plan if you have to shelter in place and that everyone be ready for at least 72 hours on your own until Emergency Assistance can get to you,” said Lucas.
Emergency Management does have an alert system for people to get phone, email, and text message notifications during emergencies. You can sign up for that service on their website: http://www.augustaga.gov/AlertCenter.aspx?CID=2,