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County’s EOC Prepares for Battle with COVID-19

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County’s EOC Prepares for Battle with COVID-19

Comal County Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Kelley, left, works in the county's new Emergency Operations Center (EOC) with Information Technology Director Mike Lee and Public Health Director Cheryl Fraser. Image courtesy of Comal County.

Comal County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is standing by and ready to help residents wage war on COVID-19.

Most local governments have an EOC staffed by members of its various departments that is activated to manage the response to major threats and incidents and coordinate internal and external resource support, according to information on texas.gov.

Comal County’s EOC was activated on March 18 when Comal County Judge Sherman Krause issued a disaster declaration after the Office of Public Health confirmed the county’s first case of COVID-19.

“Declaring a disaster activates our emergency-management plan and gives Comal County the tools to take further action as it becomes necessary,” he said.

Currently the EOC is at Level 1, the lowest level, and is not staffed 24/7.

When it is fully operational, county officials, first-responders, and city officials from Bulverde, Garden Ridge and New Braunfels will serve in the EOC.

The county’s 2018 hazard mitigation plan is based on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant guidelines for “sustainable actions taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from future disasters.”

County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Gentrea Hendrickson prepared the county’s COVID-19 plan, which focuses on preparedness, coordinating emergency operations, information-sharing, deploying medical materials and protecting first-responders.

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