Shelby County Disaster Center Opens
(Memphis) The last time Shelby County’s Emergency Operations center was opened, was May of 2011.
Then first responders county-wide were stuffed in a room in the basement of a building in Midtown.
It was not handicap accessible and there were no computers.
That has all changed now.
In the past six months, a new Disaster Command Center was constructed inside the Shelby County Administration Building off of Mullins Station Road.
The new center in east Memphis now has desks with computers, phones and a sound system that will help with meetings.
The center is also equipped with monitors and technology called the Geographical Information System, where information from each municipality has been collected into one system, in hopes of a faster response time.
“We could then look for structures that were impacted, like hospitals, schools fire facilities, look at the population, the age of the population any special need population. Here we have integrated [that information] so people are asking questions against the same data sets which has allowed them to allocate resources very efficiently,” said Doctor Arleen Hill with the University of Memphis.
“These are concrete walls, they are 18 to 20 inches thick. This is also further east from damage areas. We feel real secure that this old building will be standing,” said EMA Director Bob Nations about the more $250,000 center.