cloudy
Saturday November 18th, 2017 10:55AM
8:59AM ( 1 hour ago ) Weather Alert
9:48PM ( 13 hours ago ) Weather Alert

Former GEMA director talks the importance of planning for Tropical Storm Irma

By Alyson Shields Reporter

Hurricane Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm Monday morning, but North Georgians are still feeling the effects of the storm as it moves through the Southeast.

Former Georgia Emergency Management Director Jim Butterworth spoke on the importance of having a plan during natural emergency on Bill and Joel Morning Show.

"The phases a team has to work through when it comes to emergency management is the planning phase, the preparation phase and as the storm rolls in you kind of hunker down for a while and then you're in to the response and recovery. And then the whole this sort of starts all over again," Butterworth said.

"There's a plan on the shelf literally for every scenario. Believe it or not, there's one for hurricane landfall and also the further inland effects," said Butterworth.

Butterworth described one hurdle first responders face is basic needs while responding. Members of the National Guard and other responders may only get bottled water and MREs (Meal Ready to Eat packets) to sustain them. "You have to put those plans in place, you have to put those logistics in place," Butterworth said.

Georgia Power and other utility companies are working with first responders to keep the power on. "When your power goes out, everybody is aware of it," Butterworth said. "There will probably be power outages from this storm. Getting that back on and getting it going is critical."

All of the teams, Butterworth said, have the logistical support to work through.

Butterworth now works as a pilot for Delta Airlines and will fly from Cleveland to Atlanta to San Antonio Monday. He said the airlines too have a plan for weather like this.

"Delta and other airlines have cancelled a number of flights to thin out," he said. "On a less than ideal day, the traffic flow decreases so you have to have that decreased number. There are a number of other layers of responses in place. We'll put a little more fuel on the airplane if we need to divert to a different airport, whatever the case may be. The airplanes have really high crosswind limitations. We get in a simulator and practice those on a regular basis."

Butterworth said when it comes to storm aftermath issues, like looting, there's a plan for that too. He said Col. Mark McDonough works alongside local law enforcement to keep order. "Sheriff's have skin in the game and they want their counties and their local folks to be safe." Butterworth also reminded that Governor Deal has already addressed price gouging in the state for things like gasoline. But overall, he said there were controls in place to try and keep things like looting from happening. 

© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Irma whips Southeast: 2 dead in Georgia, 1 in South Carolina
At least 2 killed in Georgia, 1 in South Carolina as Irma floods homes, topples trees and cancels flights across Southeast
6:41PM ( 8 hours ago )
Harvey and Irma to slow US economy but rebound should follow
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could cost a combined $200 billion, but rebound likely to follow
5:13PM ( 10 hours ago )
Hall County identifies roads for 2018 resurfacing program
Hall County officials have identified 19 roads that they feel are in the most need of repair work, and the county commission is now set to approve that list this week.
5:00PM ( 10 hours ago )
Local/State News
EMCs, Ga. Power beginning to experience power outages
Some Jackson EMC members experienced outages Sunday as a result of high wind arriving ahead of Hurricane Irma and the electric co-op is bracing for more today.
8:56AM ( 18 hours ago )
DFCS issues monthly food stamp benefits early to support residents affected by Hurricane Irma
In an effort to help ease the burden of purchasing food for low-income families affected by Hurricane Irma, the Division of Family and Children Services has released September’s allotment of food stamp benefits to all Georgia residents.
By AccessWDUN staff
3:00PM ( 1 day ago )
Tropical storm conditions still expected in northeast Georgia
Even with the projected track of Hurricane Irma shifting farther to the west overnight, northeast Georgia is still under the gun for tropical storm conditions Monday and Tuesday.
9:17AM ( 1 day ago )
Blackwood: Don't forget to prep your property for Irma's wind, rain
With Hurricane Irma expected to make a pass through Northeast Georgia on Monday — as a tropical storm — officials are urging residents to be prepared for the worst.
5:00PM ( 2 days ago )
UPDATE: New projected path of Irma increases likelihood of adverse weather on NE Ga.
The latest projected path of Hurricane Irma has the storm shifted to the west, away from Gainesville and the rest of northeast Georgia, but that has only increased the likelihood of adverse weather in the region.
3:00PM ( 2 days ago )