Hutchinson Co. seeks resident input for disaster preparedness - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Hutchinson Co. seeks resident input for disaster preparedness

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

The Borger and Hutchinson County Offices of Emergency Management are asking county residents to help them plan for any natural disasters that may come their way.

Hutchinson County will be looking at possible fire conditions this weekend, and it's not long before winter weather strikes the panhandle.

They're now asking for your help to better prepare for these natural disasters.

As part of a requirement for FEMA aid, these emergency management offices put out an online survey, asking residents extensive questions about which natural disasters they've experiences, and how the county can better serve them.

The results for which disasters people are most worried about may surprise you.

"The 2 leading concerns that people have in Hutchinson County are earthquakes and flooding," said Jason Whisler, Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Borger. "There are some valid concerns with that. If that's a concern, then we have an obligation to educate and work with the people on those issues."

These are disasters not too entirely common to the area, and because of that the county does not have any set safety plan ready for either of these instances.

But that's something they're going to work on.

The more feedback Whisler can get, the better the county can prepare.

"We're getting to see not only what their concerns are, but also how do they like to be notified of a storm, what do they monitor the most?" said Whisler. "So we can see what concerns them the most and the most effective way to reach out and convey information about those hazards to them."

People who have chimed in said they'd like a text message alert system, and that's something that could be coming as early as next year.

"We're pretty excited about the potential IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert & Warning System) coming up possibly next year, which will allow us as emergency management coordinators to send notifications to cell phones directly from our center here," said Whisler. "We won't have to go through FEMA or the Weather Service, and it's the same concept as the Amber Alerts that you get on your phone."

If you live in Hutchinson County and want your opinions heard, take the online survey here.

Initial results will be compiled at the end of October, and community meetings on safety ideas will be coming to the county soon.

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