More people interested in Grayson Co. emergency planning

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS -- There are many civic leaders who work behind the scenes, and around the clock, to be prepared for disaster.

As Allison Harris learned, in Grayson County, more people are expressing interest in being part of the county's emergency planning.

Emergency Manager Sarah Somers refers to these meetings as "invisible" -- the kind of behind the scenes planning that makes Grayson County prepared for disaster.

"Judge Bynum's vision was that we would run an open meeting process, so we have meetings most Thursdays at 9 a.m.," Somers said.

Somers says they've seen an increase in attendance at their emergency planning meetings, which she attributes to recent events like the West plant explosion and Moore tornado.

"It sounds almost ghoulish, but the result of some disasters is that it renews people's interest in the subjects we work on all of the time," Somers said.

Today, local fire stations, police departments and home hospice services met in this new facility at the Grayson County Courthouse, collaborating to ensure that their information and emergency plans are up to date.

"We could use the maps, we could look at the specific addresses and know what the challenges might be if there was a hazardous material incident nearby," Somers said.

Grayson County Fire Marshal Kevin Walton sits in on these meetings and understands their importance.

"The more folks that you can get in this room, from all over the county, makes us more prepared. It's community involvement and that's the whole premise behind these meetings," Walton said.

"There aren't enough people who understand that there is an organizational structure, that there is a plan going on. Sometimes, it's kind of invisible," Somers said.

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