MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – Now just a few weeks into hurricane season, officials from across the county met here today at the Emergency Operations Center in Morehead City to test out their skills in an oncoming hurricane.
The hurricane exercise brought together everyone from emergency management to health and human services and beyond to try to simulate the response to a storm.
John C. Ford, Emergency Services Director for Carteret County, explains: ”Whether it’s in the communities around Carteret County or the municipalities throughout Carteret County, we’re here to coordinate response and recovery efforts, not necessarily command and control those efforts.”
The goal of those in this room is to give first responders and other agencies the tools and support they need to help the over sixty thousand residents who live in the county after a disaster.
”These are not direct duties, day-to-day duties, for most of the people in this room so we need to bring them together to hone their skills, to get them their refresher training , to make sure they’re up to speed and ready to go” said Ford.
To do that, they got some help from meteorologists at the National Weather Service.
”This is simulating a Cat(egory) 3 hurricane that makes landfall in Carteret County and has a variety of impacts including storm surge, high winds greater than 110 miles per hour” explained John Cole. the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Newport.
Today’s exercise was a worst case scenario, but weaker storms can cause just as many problems.
”We’ve known from past storms like Hurricane Irene that a Category 1, if it’s a very large hurricane, can produce very high amounts of storm surge” said Cole.
Hurricane season officially runs through November 30th.