First responders, emergency managers prepare for winter storms

Posted December 5, 2012 6:37 pm | Filed under Local News

Andrew Kiel |
With winter storms just around the corner, York County emergency officials, first responders, healthcare providers, school leaders and others met for the first time to discuss their plans Wednesday as to how to handle snow and ice-covered roads.

York County Emergency Management Director Cotton Howell.

School officials who piped up during the session shared how their teams make the call to cancel classes — a decision that many other agencies, organizations and businesses use to make those same decisions for themselves.

Howell says Wednesday’s discussion was all about learning from previous events.

The session also showed key players how the focus in winter storms switches from preparation to recovery, and how agencies can ask for extra resources when they are needed the most.

Howell says that the key to success in any disaster situation is cooperation.

Howell said one area of improvement he would like to see is in the area of nursing homes and outpatient care facilities.

This year, a change in state law allows for the closing of state offices county-by-county with the decision to close those offices being based on what individual county governments decide to do.

Howell says each year, winter weather plans improve with lessons learned from incidents not only in York County, but across the country.