Angelina County emergency coordinators discuss disaster preparation

Angelina County Emergency Management Coordinator Ricky Conner
Angelina County Emergency Management Coordinator Ricky Conner(all use)
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 5:37 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Angelina County and its cities are devoting time and energy into emergency management.

The county recently held a meeting to address concerns and discuss strategy with the various emergency management teams, including state representatives. Ricky Conner, Emergency Management Coordinator for Angelina County says being on the same page for any disaster response is crucial.

“It’s just important,” said Conner. “Especially for emergency management that everybody is on the same page, that everybody is thinking the same way, whether it is a tornado, hurricane, wildfire, whatever. It’s just important to us as a team to make sure everyone is on the same page.

The City of Lufkin’s coordinator, Gerald Williamson, says the state presence, particularly the involvement of the Texas Department of Emergency Management, has helped. They have increased support and involvement since the early 2000′s. Hurricane effects are a primary concern for the City of Lufkin. Williamson highlighted the large-scale effects on the city while at the same time noting that Lufkin EMS is experienced handling the small-scale issues through police and fire rescue every day.

“We know that hurricanes are the most likely large-scale threat that we are going to see,” said Williamson. “Also, even if a hurricane doesn’t affect the City of Lufkin directly with bad weather, we are almost always impacted by those that are escaping areas that are almost always impacted on the coast.”

Coordinating the mass evacuations from Houston, Galveston and Beaumont areas was a specific point of focus as Williamson says that would otherwise be beyond the city’s capability to deal with. Lufkin bases their preparation on historical data to predict how to best handle the situations for the future.

“You look at historical models, storms tend to track after they hit the coast most commonly through our area, so we’ve got to be ready,” said Williamson.

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