Southwest Georgia bearing down for Hurricane Earl

James Vaught, Albany-Dougherty EMA

Participants in Wednesday's National Incident Management System training session included the Albany Police Department, the Albany Fire Department, the Dougherty County School System, Dougherty Public Works, and the Marine Corps Logistics Base.

"It's all part of training we do annually but it just happens that it's during the hurricane season," said James Vaught of the Albany-Dougherty EMA. "So it gives us even more awareness of the necessity to train."

The students learned about communication, coordination, and cooperation in disastrous conditions â" the kinds of conditions that could be caused by a Hurricane like Earl.

The key is being ready when â" and if â" disaster strikes.

"We've been re-certified as a storm-ready community," said Vaught. "What we means is that we have done training and have assets in place to be able to help protect our community."

The class wasn't just focused on natural disasters. For example, the students illustrated how they would respond to a terrorist attack during a large parade in a crowded city.

Albany's Marine Corps Logistics Base has a unique role in emergency preparedness as the evacuation site for nearby military installations, like Parris Island, South Carolina.

"If they needed to evacuate their troops undergoing training, they would come to Albany, as they have in the past, and hunker down," said Bob James of MCLB.

James said that the Marines' military training comes in handy in disastrous circumstances.

"If you've got natural or manmade disasters that occur, it requires a quick response, a firm response, the ability to make decisions, and Marines and military people have that," he said.

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