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This week, our Emergency Management Agency (EMA) activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), bringing in all our department and partner agency leaders to keep an eye on Hurricane Ian's path and prepare our community's response for any impact we may have gotten. Early forecasts showed Hurricane Ian heading towards Middle Georgia, but on Wednesday, the path shifted more towards the northeast and into the Atlantic Ocean, greatly reducing the impact to our area.

"We have the best response team in the country, and even though, thankfully, they were not needed to respond this week, their dedication and expertise was shown in their preparation efforts," says EMA Director Spencer Hawkins. "Without hesitation, this group of men and women dropped what they were doing to make sure our community was prepared to welcome people fleeing the storm and protect us should we have severe weather."

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Every day since Friday, September 23, the EMA held meetings or calls with response agencies at the local, regional, and state level, including the Georgia Emergency Management Agency & Homeland Security and National Weather Service.

Our teams were busy preparing for anything that may have happened, from needing to open an evacuation shelter to responding to damage from severe weather. That meant gathering cots and blankets, arranging for food distribution, testing communications equipment, scheduling response teams, making sure gas tanks were full, and more.

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