After Action Review Meeting

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Now that the storms are over, those who helped respond to hurricanes Katrina and Rita are evaluating what things went well, and what things didn't. City, county, and community leaders all meet Tuesday and discussed the good and the bad.

It was a meeting to learn what went right, and what went wrong.

About 70 county, city, and non-profit organization officials talked face to face about the response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Communication within the EOC was a main point of concern.

Volunteers were praised. But many would like to see communication with volunteers improved in the future. Often times when volunteers arrived at the food bank or shelters to assist they weren't sure what needed to be done.

"Two things volunteers really need to be effective are direction and training and if we can provide those two things, they'll go out and exceed what ever expectations we've got," said Steve Beechy with the city of College Station.

Volunteer training wasn't the only concern. The Brazos Valley Council of governments, which provides services to those in need, would also like it's staff to be better trained to handle a mass of people.

"One of the things we need is incident command training for our rank and file staff," said Michael Parks with the council of governments.

Additional space in which to work within the EOC was expressed as a concern. Officials said they would like to find a place to stockpile supplies for future disasters and find a bigger facility to house the EOC command center.

Despite times of chaos, people at the meeting thought Brazos County did well when it came to handling thousands of evacuees. Interim EOC director Michele Meade says she feels the meeting was helpful.

"I think it's always important that we have a chance to get together after a response and have everybody share some of their perspectives so that we can do a much better job for planning," said Meade.