Emergency management prepares for winter weather - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Emergency management prepares for winter weather

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Comanche County Emergency Management has been preparing for the winter storms to move in all week long.

Emergency management starts the process about a week and a half before a major storm is expected to hit.

"If we're going to look out for severe weather we're posting things from the national weather service or posting things that you might need as a citizen to get ready for the severe weather,” said Comanche County Emergency Management Public Information Officer Ashleigh Hensch.

Then, as we approach the incoming storm, they begin reaching out to organizations in town to get them ready for the weather.

"For example, with Red Cross, we reach out to them and make sure they had a shelter in line just in case we needed to open one, that they were going to have the people and the supplies that they need for it,” said Hensch. "Or, like the power companies, we help them to kind of come in and get staged up at the Great Plains Coliseum and make sure they're going to be able to do what they need to do once the severe weather hits."

A large portion of what emergency management does comes after the storm, as they work to get people's lives back on track.

"Each disaster or weather event is different so we have to respond to it differently,” Hensch said. “So, having things prepared in advance helps a lot but there's a lot of things that maybe we didn't foresee this time that we will have to accommodate."

Hensch said to properly help those in need after a storm, they have to constantly be ready to respond.

"Flash flooding or ice storms, those build up quickly so we have to be able to respond in an instant,” Hensch said.

It’s also important to remember that emergency crews aren't just responding to whatever area we live in.

"We're not just watching out for Lawton, we're also watching out for Cache and Elgin and those areas outside of Lawton but in Comanche County so if they're being hit harder, we might need to move our resources or move our focus over to them,” Hensch said.

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