Medina County ready has extra crews, volunteer crews on board for storm

Medina County ready to activate extra emergency crews, volunteer crews if needed

We spoke with Keith Lutz today about the extra precautions Medina County officials are taking in case Hurricane Harvey produces the massive flooding that the National Weather Service has predicted.

Volunteer, Peter Morford of Hondo, is part of the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and was preparing to be called out.

“They called us last night and said ‘Get ready.’ I’ve We’ve done several trainings for first aid, building searches, and that kind of stuff, for when emergency service responders are overloaded,” Morford said, as he headed out to stock up on batteries, flashlights and other supplies.

Lutz noted that the county had spoken with all of the school districts about setting up emergency shelters if they are needed for local residents, though they did not have any plans to open up schools for other evacuees. The location of schools to opened would depend on what areas are hit the hardest in the county.

“We are having a briefing with fire and EMS later today, and talking about all of our concerns. Our biggest threat in this area is of course flooding, so we are getting ready for that. The storm is still strengthening as we speak, and they don’t know quite where it is going to hit. We are just trying to be extra careful and get equipment prepared in case we do need it,” Lutz said.

When the tornadoes hit several years ago, one of the biggest concerns discussed afterwards was the difficulty handling the high volume of calls that overloaded local dispatchers.  To avoid that in the future, Sheriff Randy Brown is holding extra dispatchers to handle a high volume of calls, just in case.

Lutz encouraged residents to sign up for I-info system if you haven’t already. The system allows the county to send emergency messages directly to your cell phone or landline.