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Husband recalls emergency visit

Sunday, November 18, 2012

(Photo)
Bryan Husband
To assist in the recovery efforts of Hurricane Sandy, District 7's Emergency Management Agency (EMA) traveled to Long Beach, N.Y., along with two other EMA teams from Indiana.

According to EMA Director Bryan Husband, the teams helped the public works and public safety personnel, city management officials and local law enforcement with acquiring equipment such as generators and pumps.

"They had no power and no water," Husband said. "The school systems were shut down. Our job was to go in, talk about what they need and how to acquire those things."

The sewer system needed flushed out, the water system needed flushed and tested and debris from the flooding needed cleaned.

"We met daily with their city management officials to keep things going while they tried to help their people, get power back on and get things back to normal," Husband told The Brazil Times. "We had to figure out how much they needed and what they needed. We went through their emergency operation center and helped them make requests to get what they needed."

The three EMA teams had a total of 53 people -- 21 of which were from District 7. The teams were in Long Beach from Oct. 28-Nov. 11. The teams started in Albany, N.Y., but were then told they were needed in Long Beach.

Husband said in comparison to the other recovery efforts he has been a part of, Hurricane Sandy was one of the worst.

"It was a lot worse (than other areas I've seen.) Everything was dark because of the no power," he said. "The streets were full of sand -- 2 to 4 feet of sand in the streets -- you could barely see some of the fire hydrants because of the sand."

Husband said cars were scattered everywhere because of the tide pushing them all over the town.

"The people had to walk everywhere because the high water had affected their vehicles and they couldn't drive," he said. "We have tornadoes in our area, and they leave a path. But this was miles and miles of damage; it affected the whole, wide area."

Husband said it was difficult to get resources to the areas because of all the damage. When the EMA teams left, other teams from Indiana were coming in to take their places.

"When we left, the power was still very sparse; they were slowly getting the power back on," Husband said. "The phone system was very poor. They were trying to figure out how to get the schools started. On the day we left, they had just received approval for the water after many tests."

Husband said many of the people he worked with from Long Beach knew him by name and had become "good friends."

"They were glad we were there," Husband said. "They were overwhelmed. We told them what we could do for them, and they were ready for us to help them."

Husband said he hoped the people he helped would be "more than willing to come here and do the same of us" if Clay County was ever in a similar situation.

"It's life changing," Husband said. "It was hard to leave. I was ready to leave, but it was hard."


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Great job by you and your team Bryan!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Mon, Nov 19, 2012, at 6:42 PM


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