Baldwin Ready to Help
Baldwin County, Ala. —
If Irma follows its forecasted path into Florida hundreds may evacuate West.
Baldwin County is ready to help in any way it can, be it mutual aid response, opening shelters or simply charitable aid.
The big news out of today's Emergency Management briefing is that Hurricane Irma could become less of a threat to our area as days go by. Still, no one is letting their guard down and everyone is willing to lend helping hand.
Predicting this storm with accuracy has proven difficult. "Because we don’t know yet and we won’t know until later on this week. So we urge everybody to continue to watch, continue to monitor and continue to plan," said EMA Director Reggie Chitwood.
Baldwin County's largest shelter, the Robertsdale Coliseum is ready at any time. Last week Commissioners decided to make it available to victims of Hurricane Harvey and now plan to extend the decision to the possibility of Hurricane Irma evacuees coming our way.
"Once we're out of harm’s way they would certainly entertain a request from the state of Florida to open a shelter for short term,” said Chitwood.
Other agencies and utilities like Power Co-op Baldwin EMC are also at the ready. "If we send crews we've got some of the most experienced linemen in the state and they are ready and willing to go and help out our fellow cooperatives," said Mark Ingram with Baldwin EMC.
Even local school children have taken the images of Harvey and Irma to heart. At Loxley Elementary, students partnered with a local business to send a truck load of supplies to Texas. If Irma hits Florida they'll be ready too. "If there was another one coming this way we would definitely help out other people in need so," said student Jordyn Latimer.
When it comes to shelters its more likely evacuees will fill shelters across the state line in nearby Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Escambia before they come here.