Emergency managers gearing up for ice storm

Scene inside Sedgwick County Emergency Management Center. (Photo: KSN/CHris Arnold)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – As most of Kansas braces for a weekend ice storm, county emergency managers and other officials are preparing for the winter weather.

Dan Pugh is the emergency management coordinator for Sedgwick County. He says he and his staff are preparing to have all hands on deck.

“We have already contacted people who are available on stand-by, some areas, like 9-1-1 and fire services and public safety services have already ramped up and will have some extra people on hand,” said Pugh.

Pugh adds when such storms hit, it can be challenging for those who work in the emergency management center.

“At the first sign that things are going to get bad, we are going to overwhelm our resources, and we’ll start doing the coordination and working together.”

Pugh says he’s prepared to have the emergency operations center flooded with representatives from 50 agencies across the county.

“We’re able to bring all those partners together, we can have face to face conversations, making sure we can get resources to the right places,” Pugh said. “That’s people, that’s equipment, that’s assistance, you know we need to make sure we are doing everything we can locally.

Pugh says if people need additional help, but they aren’t dealing with an emergency, they should dial 2-1-1 instead of 9-1-1. That will put you in touch with the county’s community partners, like the Red Cross or Salvation Army who could help assist you with what you need.