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Goliad's emergency coordinator prepares county

By chirst
Sept. 9, 2012 at 4:09 a.m.
Updated Sept. 10, 2012 at 4:10 a.m.

Peggy Fonseca, director of the Emergency Operation Center in Goliad.

Peggy Fonseca started as the emergency management coordinator in Goliad in April and has worked during the summer to make multiple improvements.

What was one of your goals when you took over as the emergency management coordinator?

I've always maintained that my heroes are the volunteers ... They leave their homes and families at holidays and birthdays and they do it for the love and the care of the community. When the tones go off for a professional, we go because it is our job.

So my goal is to get the volunteers the training they need as emergency management personnel.

What changes have you made to emergency management in Goliad?

We have made improvements, such as installing wireless Internet and adding TVs. We have become involved in training with the Texas Division of Emergency Management. We have trained about 30 volunteer firemen in National Incident Management System, with more to come.

We have installed a 100-foot radio tower for the EOC to improve our communications. That was through Homeland Security money and we bought radios for the EOC with Homeland Security money.

I also wanted to get us compliant with all of the plans and annexes mandated by the federal government and to keep us compliant. Before I took over, we were non-compliant with our basic emergency plan and now we are.

What have you learned from other disasters in Goliad?

We have learned what works and what doesn't work during the floods in 1998, 2000 and 2002. We know exactly where we need to send personnel. We know we need to be more proactive in evacuating people with medical needs.

What should residents in the county do to prepare for potential disasters?

Go to ready.gov. The government has that website and it helps you prepare for a lot of things, like getting your go-kit together and preparing for you, your family and your pet if you have one. If you had five minutes to leave your house, what would you take? Have that go-kit made and ready, make copies of your important documents, be ready to leave your house for three days.

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