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Open House on Thursday for New County Emergency Operations Center
Posted on: 10/22/2013
By  Andy Rex
 
After last summer’s derecho, the process of finding the Washington County Emergency Operations Center a suitable, permanent location ratcheted up, and now it’s a reality.
 
County EMA Director Jeff Lauer says the new facility is ready to go, and they’re celebrating with an open house this Thursday…
 
“Elected officials will be speaking at 2:00, then we’re going to keep it open until 6 if the public wants to stop by and see it.  The Emergency Operations Center is where we all coordinate for disasters.  We’re quite proud of it.  We were very conservative in what we built, and stayed under budget.  We got an originally two-year project done in one year.”
 
The county received a 50 percent matching grant from the state in December for the construction, which was completed in just a few months.  Lauer describes what you’ll see if you check out the new facility…
 
“You’ll see the executive conference room built for decision making, whether it be declaring a disaster or whatever we need to do there.  Plus, they’ll go back in and see the operations room, which is where we have our phones set up and the projectors on the wall.  It’ll project anything that’s going on – weather, major events, storms, floods, crest predictions – all that stuff will go up on a board.”
 
Lauer says it’s a relief to finally have the space they need to do the job when the need arises…
 
“It’s just nice to have stuff located so that we’ll just be able to walk in the door and flip the lights on at 3:00 in the morning and go to work.  Traditionally, we had to go to the office, gather up stuff, go to other places and make do.  This way, it should be ready to operate.”
 
The EOC is located in Suite C of the Children’s Services Building at 204 Davis Avenue.
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