Southeast emergency personnel train themselves for any natural d - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southeast emergency personnel train themselves for any natural disaster

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Hurricane Katrina had plenty of emergency management personnel making sure their plan was up to date to handle any natural disaster.

Even though no hurricanes are expected in the Heartland and we're on the heels of some of the highest flood water we've seen in years, Emergency Management Director Richard Knaup said they're trained for anything.

"You react the way you are trained, so we train constantly now," he said.

He said since Hurricane Katrina, communication has been key in becoming better prepared.

"What has changed is the education of the local and the state people, how they interact with each layer," Knaup said. "How the local interact with the state, how the state interact with FEMA, how FEMA interact with other federal agencies that respond."

Another thing that makes them even more prepared, the training they go through.

Knaup said the training is crucial to how they plan to respond.

"We drill, constantly, with different agencies throughout the year with FEMA, EPA, DNR and national resources of Missouri, we drill constantly," he said.

Executive Director Sara Gerau said the American Red Cross made sure their response plan has been up-to-date, so they'll have as little mistakes as possible

"We have monthly meeting and we talk about how we're going to respond when it happens," Gerau said.

She said a huge part of their response plan comes from help with people in the community.

"Our volunteers spread out across southeast Missouri," she said. "So that when that happens we're able to reach out to those volunteers and they can start immediately in those communities."

So whenever a natural disaster may happen, Knaup said the Heartland will be ready.

"We like to think we're ready and as new disasters and scenarios come forth, we'll train up on them," he said.

The American Red Cross has a sheltering exercise coming up in Poplar Bluff and would appreciate anyone who wants to volunteer. To learn more about that visit our website.

If you want to volunteer, contact them at 573-335-9471.

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Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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