Abilene Emergency Services ready to implement lessons learned from February freeze

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ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Last February Abilene residents sheltered together at home and local warming stations, wondering when the sun would come out and the power would be restored. During that uncertain time, City Emergency Management Coordinator Vincent Cantu was working hard to make sure residents made it through.

“We like to say we’re like the 30,000-foot view. That piece between the executive level of city management and the boots on the ground kind of operation,” Cantu said.

Makeshift shelters, relief resources, and emergency response efforts were coordinated from beneath city hall in the city’s Emergency Operations Center.

“The way the events cascaded and progressed throughout the week, it just kept on bringing new challenges,” says Cantu.

Though the hours were long and cold, Cantu says there was never a moment that they weren’t determined to see the disaster through. And now, those hard fought nights and days are lessons learned, should a similar event arise.

“There’s nothing that prepares us better than the real thing, so I’d say with that blueprint, I think we’d be able to lean forward a little better. All parties know what to expect, who can do what and what their strengths are,” said Cantu.

Knowing that disaster may strike again, the timing and severity of their response can lessen the impact.

“This is what the office is here for. We try to anticipate the worst, prepare for the worst, hope for the best,” said Cantu.

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