Macon-Bibb EMA Dir. Donald Druitt
Recent renovations and equipment updates at the Macon-Bibb Emergency Manaement Agency were put to use during this week's severe weather.
EMA Director Don Druitt said the new stuff also makes his office better equipped to handle other serious issues such as hostage situations and school shootings.
For example, Druitt said the new equipment would allow him, the police chief, sheriff and law enforcement officials on the scene of a hostage situation to all have visuals on their computer screens and make adjustments as needed with the click on the screen.
Because of the new items, Druitt said power outages won't hamper his operations.
"If I lost connectivity to the county or the state, my telephones would still operate and my computers would work because they're all internet based," Druitt said.
Also, in times of severe weather like Monday night, Druitt has radio operators keeping in contact with other areas.
"We had about four people sitting in here, volunteers manning the radios," Druitt said. "Now, they're primarily talking to amateur radio operators throughout the state. There are spotters out there who are trained to spot tornadoes and severe weather."
Despite the new equipment and operating techniques, Druitt keeps in touch with the past by hanging on to the letter that created the agency more than 40 years ago.
That letter was signed by a man who would later become president, former Gov. Jimmy Carter.