Preparing for Alberto not a waste for emergency responders

Preparing for Alberto not a waste for emergency responders
Updated: May. 28, 2018 at 9:12 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Many were very thankful Alberto did not make landfall here this weekend. But the storm threat gave first responders some valuable training when a hurricane does hit.

In St. Bernard Parish thankfully, there was no flooding in or outside the levee system for this storm. But homeland security director John Rahaim says that doesn't mean the time spent preparing for Alberto was a waste.

Rahaim said, "You do the dry run so you can get ready so you can train your people to know what to do when something happens because the last thing you want is people to show up to the party and not know what's going on."

They prepared as they would in any heavy rain event, including regular phone calls with area parishes and the National Weather Service. Rahaim says that collaboration and storm mindset now will be invaluable for the future.

He said, "Whenever you talk about saving people's lives no amount is too great. The parish government is here to take care of the people and that's why we're here to take care of the people."

Brian Adam, Hancock county's emergency management director says they learn something every storm. That's why they spent money this time around for some overtime and sandbags, although he said it's hard to estimate a dollar amount right now.

He said, "It doesn't matter if you do a dry run training or do a live exercise like this preparing for what we thought was going to be tropical storm to impact us."

Adam says every year and storm is different, and he says he's grateful Alberto gave some a break this week.

He said, "We didn't have a lot to do on this one but preparation is key and you make sure you do something better the next time."

Adam told me even though they did spend money on sandbags for the county in this storm, it's not money wasted. They're sandbags the county can use next time.

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