We must be ready

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 13, 2003

The train which derailed in the Aldrich community of Montevallo Monday should serve as a wake-up call for local law enforcement officials.

Luckily, the derailed train cars were empty of the chemicals they often haul and no one was injured in the accident.

Considering what &uot;could have been&uot; produces a scary thought.

While emergencies can not always be prevented, their impact can often be lessened by preparation.

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency is taking steps to ensure that the county is prepared to handled a wide range of emergencies from natural disasters such as tornadoes to accidents such as Monday’s train wreck to the threat of biological terrorism.

The EMA, along with a committee consisting of representatives from various county agencies, is currently working on a Hazard Mitigation Plan for Shelby County.

In December, they held a live drill for the Emergency Operations Center. Workers who collaborate the efforts of first-responders in the event of an emergency were present at the drill, which included a mock tornado which caused a mock train derailment and chemical spill.

Public hearings will be held in the near future concerning the mitigation plan. It is important that Shelby County residents take an active interest in these hearings.

The more our citizens are involved, the better prepared we will be as a county when, and if, disaster strikes