Tue., May 27, 2014 7:05pm (EDT)

Emergency Managers Plan Ahead For Hurricane Recovery
By Sarah McCammon
Updated: 2 months ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Hurricanes can disrupt economic activity for months or years, so emergency managers in Chatham County are planning ahead. Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
Hurricanes can disrupt economic activity for months or years, so emergency managers in Chatham County are planning ahead. Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
Civic and business leaders from coastal Georgia and South Carolina are talking about how to rebuild if a major hurricane hits the region.

Chatham Emergency Management Agency Director Clayton Scott says a lot of storm preparation focuses on getting people out of danger.

“But we have an obligation to our residents to get them back in town, and that’s where this plan kicks in,” Scott says.

Scott is working with municipal leaders to create detailed plans for restoring housing, infrastructure, and economic activity after events like hurricanes.

“These are things we need to address now, rather than when it happens and say, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t think of this,’” he says.

The two-day meeting also included representatives from Savannah-based aerospace manufacturer Gulfstream.

Scott says getting employees back to work after a major storm requires a big-picture plan to revive the local economy.

“You can’t put Dad back to work if Mom’s lost her job in the city of Savannah, he says. “It’s gotta come as a package.”

Scott says communities like Savannah, with its reliance on tourism, should think about restoring historic and cultural sites as well as streets and water treatment plants.

The two-day meeting with civic and business leaders wraps up Wednesday at the Coastal Georgia Center.