Lessons Learned From Hurricane Arthur

With time to reflect how they prepared and how they handled Hurricane Arthur, Carteret County officials say overall, they are pleased.

It was on the evening of July 3rd that the category 2 hurricane crashed into Carteret County.

While damage wasn't severe in Carteret County, Emergency Services Director John Ford says what's important when preparing for a hurricane like this is to think fast and to act quickly.

Ford says, "While the storm is hitting it's time to get 12 hours ahead so you're not behind. Think okay, what's it going to look like when the sun comes up? What do we need to be ready for? What did we forget, what have we missed? What can we get ahead on so we don't get caught?"

To stay ahead of the storm, Ford set up an emergency operation center.

His team worked together to get the most up to date weather information before, during and after the hurricane.

Having a base of operations made it easier for emergency workers to take action quickly and efficiently.

Ford says one thing that is difficult to predict is the extent of a hurricane's damage--because every storm is very different--and every different storm teaches his team a new lesson.

Ford says, "There are areas we can improve on. We learn that from any exercise or any true incident. We find deficiencies or holes and gaps we need to fill, and we found some this time and we're going to go back and look at that in the next few weeks and see if we can correct those, but as a whole I think everybody did a tremendous job."

One thing that Hurricane Arthur taught emergency planners was the importance of communication.

Ford said next time they will improve by getting their messages out to the public faster and better. They want to open lines of communications between themselves and other towns within the county earlier so they can identify potential shortfalls sooner.

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