Emergency Service Providers Meet on Water Disaster Preparedness - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Emergency Service Providers Meet on Water Disaster Preparedness

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Water and the emergencies that sometimes come with it led to a meeting of the minds in Charlottesville Wednesday.  Emergency service providers throughout the region came out for a course focusing on ways to avoid water and waste water disasters – and what to do when one strikes.

"It's a two-day training program focused on how we can work better together – better coordination, better communication," said Gary O'Connell, executive director of the Albemarle County Service Authority.

Communication was the theme of Wednesday's disaster management training session. Water and waste water professionals from Albemarle County, the city of Charlottesville and the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority took part in the course. 

It was a chance for water specialists from different agencies to get on the same page for future emergency action plans.

"It could be burst pipes, it could be a contamination problem and again that could be an accidental thing that happens or something intentional," said emergency coordinator Kirby Felts.

Felts says the course helps each agency help each other. She says it's easier to find a solution to a water disaster when each group knows what tools they have - and don't have.

"So maybe if even the city doesn't have a piece of equipment or there's breaks they could know they could call Albemarle County Service Authority and say, ‘hey, do you have this piece of equipment?'" Felts said.

Course trainer Linda Warren says the agencies took a closer look at last week's snowstorm.

"They had generators where they needed them but it was just a question of accessing some of the locations like on top of the mountain, to be able to get to those with the snow," Warren said.

FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security funded the course.

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