County learned much from Ivan

Published 3:51 am Monday, September 21, 2009

By By Lisa Tindell
Five years after Hurricane Ivan swept through the Gulf Coast and into Escambia County, the lessons he taught are still being remembered.
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said his department gained valuable experience in the devastation that came with the storm.
Smith said the storm brought about circumstances that had to be dealt with for the safety and welfare of the community.   
David Jennings served as the Escambia County Emergency Management director during the time the storm ravaged the Brewton area.
Although daily planning meetings were held, Jennings said there were some things that just could not be predicted in the wake of the storm.
David Adams, who now serves as the area’s EMA director, said the experience learned from Ivan has given a valuable amount of insight on how to handle similar situations if they arise in the future.
One area that has seen dramatic improvements has been in the area of communications, Adams said.
Adams said the storm was expected, but brought obstacles and circumstances that couldn’t be predicted.
Adams said that damage seen throughout the area was part of the reason that communications have been improved across the region.
Jennings said the efforts of local fire departments, volunteer fire departments and citizens were amazing during the days that followed Ivan’s terror on the county.
Jennings said officials even rolled up their sleeves to help get the county back in order as quickly as possible.
Although Brewton, East Brewton and surrounding communities have nearly recuperated from the event, there are still areas that are showing continued damage.