Inside a nondescript building near City Hall, the Emergency Operations Center is pretty quiet right now. But later this week, it will be bustling.
City leaders plan to activate the EOC Wednesday afternoon to prepare for a major winter storm.
The center pulls in the police and fire departments with other parts of city government and coordinates various functions like situational awareness, planning and logistics.
“To turn next to me and talk to the police department, turn next to me and talk to the street department, it’s just so much faster, so much more efficient,” said Mike Drivdahl of the fire department. better product to our residents in the city.”
The EOC activates for many big events in the city, even concerts.
The last big winter storm was one year ago this month — a week Texans remember all too well.
The city has learned lessons from that week as it does after every major event, Drivdahl said.
“We had water issues,” he said. “Well, there have been some budget items that have been increased to fix those water issues. It all takes time and budget.”
City leaders will watch the storm all unfold in real-time — from road conditions on live video screens to a flood of 911 calls.
Drivdahl said the best plan for everyone may be to simply stay off the streets.
“That really is a powerful message to people — if you don’t have to get out in weather that’s bad, just stay home,” he said.