Update: Beckley is ready if we see another Derecho - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Update: Beckley is ready if we see another Derecho

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So what lessons have we learned since the storm hammered 53 of West Virginia's 55 counties?

59News spoke with the Director of Beckley Emergency Services to find out how much more prepared we are a year later if disaster strikes again.

Kevin Taylor told 59News a major improvement in disaster relief efforts from a year ago, is the creation of a City Coordination Center.

"Looking back, had we activated this Coordination Center, it would have served as point of operation, our city administrators and representations of each departments could have had one single location to catch their breath and discuss what's going on a daily if not hourly basis and work hand in hand as support for those out in the field," Taylor said.

He told us this will now serve as the central hub for information. It will be used not only in emergency situations, but also for any large events such as the upcoming Boy Scout Jamboree.

According to the Director, city administration and department heads will now be able to support emergency personnel out in the field as well as coordinate with other counties in a disaster situation.

"Our city departments have already prepared themselves to work well with one another. When they were indicated with calls and they could not immediately respond to the calls which is why we endorse so much personal preparedness," said Taylor.

Taylor believed when disaster strikes, you won't want to be waiting in long lines for necessities, so he suggests always having a few key items in your home and vehicles.

"You'll want non-perishable food, bottles of water, and you'll want to keep a sufficient amount of gas in your vehicles. Stay home and do not travel if you don't need to be out traveling," he said.

Taylor said all 3 shelters in Beckley were used and if need be the Beckley Raleigh County Convention Center would also be made available.

Beckley is now one of the few cities in the Mountain State to have a coordination center on the city level, not just county wide.

 

 


 

 

EMS Director Kevin Taylor talks to 59News about how we've improved disaster relief efforts since the 2012 Derecho. 

Taylor said the biggest way is through the creation of Beckley's City Coordination Center where all emergency personnel and enforcement can meet and discuss relief efforts while on duty together. He said Beckley is one of very few cities in the entire state to have such a coordination center on a municipal level, not just county wide.

When disaster strikes, Taylor said the last thing you'll want is to wait in long lines at gas stations and grocery stores for necessities, so he suggests always having a few key items in your home and all vehicles such as extra gas, batteries, radio, water, medicine and non perishable foods.

He said during the derecho all three shelters in Beckley were used and said that if more room is needed the Beckley Raleigh County Convention Center would be made available.