Local Emergency Response Plan Constantly Updated

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The threat of major catastrophies pose serious problems for local governments. On the anniversary of 9-11 and with the recent destruction of Hurricane Katrina, agencies on every level find themselves constantly updating their planned response.

"As a result of all these incidents that we've had, the whole country's probably going to go back and look at their planning process and make changes so that we can do better in the future when we have a catastrophe like this," said Nathan Sivils, City of Bryan.

The cities of Bryan and College Station work with Brazos County on a mass emergency response plan. Brian Hilton with the City of College Station says the plan is a living document and could change at a moments notice. While our area was prepared to house hurricane evacuees -- they didn't expect a long term stay.

"Now that we have Katrina we're working with our plan and our mass sheltering and mass care plan. We need to look at it and incorporate long term shelters as opposed to the two or three days we planned for," said Brian Hilton, City of College Station.

However, it takes more than a plan for a city to respond to a mass tragedy. Events like 9-11 and Katrina have shown multiple city and county departments are needed to ensure safety.

"The cities and the counties law enforcement agencies, fire department, public works, road and bridge people, you've has a cross section of everyone up in the EOC working," said Hilton.

Despite how prepared federal and local governments think they are. The lives lost on 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina show even the best plans must be revised.