Lessons learned from Super Storm Sandy - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Lessons learned from Super Storm Sandy

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013, marks the one year anniversary Super Storm Sandy swept through the north east, flooding much of the coast. In the mountain state the storm dumped feet of snow knocking out power. Tuesday, October 29, 2013, marks the one year anniversary Super Storm Sandy swept through the north east, flooding much of the coast. In the mountain state the storm dumped feet of snow knocking out power.
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GREENBRIER COUNTY -

Tuesday, October 29, 2013, marks the one year anniversary Super Storm Sandy swept through the north east, flooding much of the coast. In the mountain state the storm dumped feet of snow knocking out power.  59News reporter Lauren Hensley went to Greenbrier County to find out what emergency responders have learned one year later.

October 29th 2013, it is a beautiful fall day with mild temperatures.  Homes are decorated in black and orange just in time for Halloween. Rewind to one year ago on October 29th 2012, piles and piles of snow looking more like Christmas and leaving thousands without power.

In Greenbrier County, thousands were without power as Greenbrier County Emergency manager Al Whitaker worked behind the scenes to combat the severe weather.

"Sandy last year caught us by surprise," Al Whitaker said.  Hurricane Sandy will be remembered as a raging freak of nature. Her birth started deep in the Caribbean Sea and by the time she made landfall that storm was extremely powerful.  Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency due to snow.  So what did this destructive storm teach emergency responders?

"Here at the 911 center and emergency management we now have back up power so we can continue operations during any type of storm. Some of the other issues we have learned and implemented during a major storm of any type we do a briefing with all the key personnel," Whitaker said.

Electricity and updates. These two things that have been improved. But how can the community keep up to date if they are without power?

This is where social media plays a critical role in an emergency.  According to Whittaker, if you are without power, you can turn on your smart phone to get important messages.

"We've set up web sites Facebook, Twitter just trying to get all of the word out," Whittaker said.

Whittaker said just as emergency managers have made improvements to their response folks in every community should have their own emergency plan in case the perfect storm strikes again.