One conference call after another. — That’s how county officials describe what’s taking place behind closed doors. Edouard isn’t expected to be a particularly destructive storm, but what happened nearly 3 years ago in New Orleans changed the way government approaches natural disasters. Judge Ed Emmit was on a plane bound about to leave for St. Louis when he heard about the approaching storm.
“Harris County and the surrounding areas all saw what went on during Katrina and we’ve all vowed that’s not gonna happen here.”
So Emmit will spend all day and most of the night at Emergency Management Headquarters. He along with a host of other agency officials, they already have plans in place. But until the storm hits…all they can do is wait.
Francisco Sanchez is another Emergency Management worker. He too takes part in the conference calls as they wait for Eduard to hit.
“We practice our plans every year and everyday we continue to improve them. Whatever we learn, we’ll learn something from this storm that will improve our plan the next go around. We had Dolly last week, we learned stuff from that that we’ll use this time.”
While the government has a plan in place, Judge Emmit is afraid the average person at home may not have a plan.
“I think it’ll be what we call a significant rain and wind event. Street flooding. We have to remind people each time don’t drive into high water. It’s amazing you always have to remind people of that. But we do.”
I asked the judge what the plan is for his family.
“Well, shortly after midnight I’ll be back here. And I guess my wife will be home holding down the house and making sure the power stays on.”
Bill Stamps… KUHF- Houston Public Radio News.