Island analyzes hurricane response

Special to the PRESS

An analysis of the City’s response to Hurricane Harvey highlighted the Wednesday, Nov. 1 meeting of the South Padre Island City Council.

SPI Fire Chief Doug Fowler provided information regarding the Island’s response to Hurricane Harvey. His presentation focused on how the City’s response plans are structured, the lessons learned from the hurricane and a determination of how the Island would get needed resources in the event of a storm.

Fowler stated that plans are categorized based on the severity of a storm. These include specific plans to address a tropical storm/category 1 hurricane, a category 2/3 hurricane, or a category 4/5 hurricane. “Each department has a set of checklists and then we essentially have a 5-day count down, 120 hours out, all the way down to when the storm hits,” explained Fowler.

The Chief next provided insight into what went well, along with lessons learned from the August storm. Fowler cited Internal communications, National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) guidelines, resourcing, and sand bag distribution as positives. “We felt like our internal communication was exceptional. At no time did we feel like we were in the dark on what was going on on the Island, or whether anybody needed help or anything like that,” noted Fowler.

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